Social networking taking off in BIG WAY in Europe - and many are senior citizens
Middle-aged narcissists more likely to frequent Facebook, while younger counterparts take to Twitter
Europeans love their social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. What's surprising is that while Internet activity is usually associated with the young, a growing number of people 65 and older have begun to reach out to one another in the global cyber community.
The Netherlands are Europe's biggest users of Social Networks, with the United Kingdom coming in at a close second.
Britons going online has doubled since 2006 and almost half of the 33 million current U.K. Internet users use social networks on a daily basis.
Surprisingly, the study discovered that although the majority of U.K. users are aged between 16 and 24 years old, 19 percent of people aged 65 to 74 now use social networks.
The Office for National Statistics and Eurostat has studied the number of people across Europe who are using social networks.
The report also looked into how many people are accessing social networks from their mobile devices. The study samples around 2,010 adults in Great Britain each month and every year, between January and March, a section is included looking at internet use.
According to the most recent report, almost half of all adults in the U.K., or 48 percent used social networking sites in 2012. Around two thirds or 62 percent of adults aged 35 to 55 use social networks to communicate online.
Forty percent of adults aged 45 to 54 are now using social networks regularly. A fifth of 65 to 74 year olds surveyed by the ONS and Eurostat said they used social networks on a daily basis.
As part of the 2012 Internet Access section, participants were asked about which activities they used the internet for, in the three months prior to their interview.
One of the responses was "Social networking, using websites e.g. Facebook or Twitter."
No statistical difference was found in the use of social networking by men and women. However, there was a marked difference in use between age groups. In general, the proportion of adults recently using social networks decreased with age.
In the 16 to 24 age group, 90 percent of respondents used social networks in the three months before their interview - yet 19 percent of the 65 and over age group also selected this response.
Internet use figures were then collected across Europe by Eurostat, so these U.K. findings could be compared to international use.
Eurostat's defined social network use as "posting messages to chat sites, social networking sites, blogs, newsgroups, discussion forums and the use of Instant Messaging (IM)."
Over half, at 57 percent of U.K. adults reported that they had used social networks in the three months prior to the survey.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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