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The New Social Clicks: 2011 Survey of Online Washingtonians Age 45+ about Social Networking

This survey of online Washington state residents age 45+ was conducted to assess Washington State residents’ experiences with social networking, video chat, and online dating.
Key findings included:

  • Seventy-percent of online Washingtonians age 45+ have at least one social networking account and most learned about social networking through a family member, particularly a child or grandchild.
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, and online communities related to hobbies or personal interests are the most popular social networking websites.
  • More than 50% of respondents joined their first social networking site within the last two years. Fifty percent have had their LinkedIn account less than two years.
  • In 2003, Facebook did not exist. In 2011, nearly six-in-ten (56%) online Washington adults age 45+ have a Facebook account. Additionally, one in ten has a Twitter account.
  • One in eight unmarried adults age 45+ have visited an online dating site.
  • Seven in ten online Washington adults age 45+ say they have heard of video chat. Among all respondents, 38 percent have used video chat.  
  • Among respondents who report using one or more social networking sites, 84% say they are concerned about online safety.
    Social networking is seen in both a positive and a negative light, as two in three say social networking websites are a great way for people to stay in touch while two in five say social networking websites are a “waste of time.”    

The AARP Washington survey was conducted as a telephone survey among 1,000 45+ year old residents in Washington State. The interviews were conducted in English by Precision Opinion from September 9, 2011 to September 15, 2011.  For more information, please contact Karla Pak at 206-517-9388.

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