A Pew Research Center Study released Thursday affirms everything we already knew about social media: old people like Facebook, young people like Snapchat, and nobody trusts social media platforms to protect their personal information.
For the study, Pew surveyed 2,002 U.S. citizens about their social media habits. The findings largely confirmed existing trends. Facebook continues its reign as the most widely-used social media platform, with 68 percent of the study participants identifying themselves as Facebook users. Around three quarters of those Facebook users say they access the platform on a daily basis.
Facebook’s demographic reach extends across age groups. Pew found that 55 percent of adults over 50 have a Facebook account, and around 80 percent of 18-49-year-olds also use the site. However, a recent report by digital measuring firm eMarketer showed that Facebook is hemorrhaging young users by the millions, yearly.
That’s likely because they prefer to use platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. According to the report, 78 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and 71 percent use Instagram. Older people are far less active on these sites, with only 7 percent of adults over 50 using Snapchat and 16 percent using Instagram.
The study also found that over half of all social media users might be kidding themselves. According to the Pew study, 59 percent say that it wouldn’t be hard to abstain from using social media. That’s a surprising majority, especially given the proven addictive nature of social media platforms.
Pew also found that people have extremely low security expectations for social media. “Despite using them for a wide range of reasons, just 3 percent of social media users indicate that they have a lot of trust in the information they find on these sites,” the report said. “Relatively few have confidence in these platforms to keep their personal information safe from bad actors.”
You can read the full Pew report here.