What Do People Think About When They Think About Social Sites?

The complaints about social-networking sites are familiar: They are time-wasters. Facebook is cavalier with our private information. Twitter shrinks complex ideas down into too-brief bits. And so on.

But despite these concerns, the bottom line is that people like social networking -- that's why 750 million people are active Facebook users. A new study from Pew adds some texture to such statistics. Researchers asked people to use one word to describe their experiences on sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Most of their responses were positive but unenthusiastic, such as "good." Neutral responses such as "okay" were common as well. Negative words made up about 20 percent of the responses and sometimes included expletives, though the researchers fail to note which expletives specifically.

Below, a word cloud of the top words people used to describe their social-networking experience.

socialnetowrking.jpg

Image: Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Playing An Actual Keyboard Cat

A music video transforms food, pets, and objects into extraordinary instruments.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

Video

The Man Who Built a Forest Larger Than Central Park

Since 1979, he has planted more than 1,300 acres of trees.

More in Technology

Just In