Social Networking Growth Explodes

Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get any bigger…

Social Networking (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) continues to grow and expand, reaching new age groups and slowly replacing good ol’ email.

You know… those little quizes like “What are you doing right now?” Or “25 Random Things About Me.” According to a recent Nielsen Online study, the latter quiz took 13.9 billion minutes of our time this year, compared to only 1.7 billion last year. “That’s a 700 percent increase,” as this Yahoo Tech News article puts it.

Great article. I encourage you to read it. Other interesting tidbits from it:

  • Twitter saw a 3712 percent year-over-year increase, clocking in nearly 300,000 total minutes for that site in April 2009
  • MySpace still rules the video streams. Users spent 384 million minutes viewing video on MySpace in April vs only 113.5 on Facebook
  • Facebook holds our attention more than any other site
  • People like blogs and social networks better than email
  • The greatest growth for Facebook has come from the 35- to 49-year-old crowd, and has added twice as many 50- to 64-year-old members than it did of the under- 18 group.


Personally… I’m not sure that these trends are healthy. Even though technology can be a positive thing, I don’t like how much it’s replacing face to face conversation. Don’t hear me wrong. I think these technologies can be great, when used in moderation. But there’s a point where we need to just say, “enough.”

I touch on this subject quite a bit in my upcoming book, Connect. (I’ve posted about this social isolation trend before)

I’ve been resisting the pressure to twitter, Facebook, etc. for a while now, with some criticism. But for me, personally, I have enough technology in my life. Any more, and it’s gonna start hindering my face to face relationships (with my wife and kids especially). So I will continue to use some technology (I text my son and my daughter, I use email and a social network site to keep tabs on friends), but I’m resisting others.

Marko (Youth Specialties CEO) made a recent decision to cut off his blog, Twittering, etc. He talks about it in his last blog post. I respect that decision. It’s an individual decision- one we have to moderate ourselves.

Food for thought!

(ht to David)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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