Young Adults Interact on Social Media as Much as In Person
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/18/2013 -- Adults within the Generation X category are as likely to connect with individuals online as in person, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.
Within a typical month, adults in their late 30s report that they engaged in nearly 75 face-to-face interactions. When compared to online interactions, the numbers are almost equal, with the later being an average of 74 in total.
"Given the speed of emerging technologies, it is likely that electronic contacts will continue to grow in the years ahead, eventually exceeding face-to-face interactions," said Jon D. Miller, author of the latest issue of The Generation X Report. "But the young adults in Generation X are currently maintaining a healthy balance between personal and electronic social networking."
Miller is the director of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth at the U-M Institute of Social Research. The study has been almost wholly funded by the National Science Foundation since the mid 80s, and it's report includes responses from 3,027 Gen Xers that were interviewed two years ago.
The data in the study of Gen X and their social network interaction is important due to the networks are a vital component to overall quality of life, according to Miller.
"The size and composition of personal networks is both a reflection of cumulative advantage over years and decades and an indicator of the resources available to get ahead and deal with problems or challenges that may arise," Miller said.
With the parity of the personal and electronic networks, Miller also found that the Gen Xers who had completed their bachelor's or advanced degrees tended to have larger social networks, while the participants who opted not to complete high school utilized electronic interaction on social media less.
"This is the first generation of Americans to reach adulthood at the beginning of the electronic era," Miller said. "So it's understandable that they should show a substantial mix of traditional and electronic networking as they build and maintain the social capital that will help to carry them through their lives."
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