Social Animals? Yes, Ladies, That's You

By Katie Kindelan Comment

Find yourself trolling Twitter at all hours? Can’t turn away from your Facebook page? Elected “Mayor” of more places than you’d like to admit on Foursquare? Then consider yourself part of a new breed of humans, a 21st century breed, and one that is largely composed of…middle-aged women, says new research. What, then, should you be calling yourself?

Try, “social animal.” That’s the term used in a new report by Netpop Research in San Francisco.

And if you are young and female, consider yourself among the majority of social animals. 82 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds use social networking, Netpop’s research found, while, across all ages, 78 percent of women use social media compared to 66 percent of men.

More specifically, women in their 30s make up more than half of heavy contributors to social media, defined as those who engage in six or more social media activities.

“It’s becoming a form of seamless integration with users’ lives; it’s always with them,” Cate Riegner, vice president of Brand Insights and co-founder of Netpop Research, told USA TODAY.

Overall, the survey found, 73 percent of all Internet users contribute to online content by way of various social media but, as the numbers indicate, non-contributors tend to be older and male.

In addition, microblogging on sites such as Twitter and Tumblr has grown a 400 percent since 2009.

The study, “Social Animals: Who’s Sharing What and Why Online?,” is based on an online survey, conducted in January, of more than 1200 American broadband users age 13 and older.