Social media adoption across the generations (charts) – 2013 update

I am having a conversation with my colleagues in the Kaiser Permanente Colorado (@KPColorado) region in August about communicating in the era of social media, so an update of the latest data of internet and social networking adoption is called for :). Luckily, the data is easy to get, easy to trend, with a trip to the Pew Internet & American Life Project (@pewinternet).

The chart above has the latest published data, from February, 2013, based on surveys done in December, 2012. (see: Pew Internet: Social Networking (full detail) | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project)

So what’s new?

  • There are more Americans using the Internet, it’s now up to 85 % across the population, mostly because it’s 56 % in people age 65+
  • There’s a slight flattening of adoption curve, meaning the generations are starting to resemble each other more in their use of social networking sites
  • As the PewInternet team points out, Twitter use has doubled since November, 2010, but it’s still only 16% across the population – not that many people as one might think

Remember, these numbers are adjusted

To look at these numbers from a health care perspective, you have to look at total population users of social networking and twitter rather than % internet users, as these are reported. The methodology of how this is done is in the 2nd slide of this deck. It mostly affects the more mature generations, since 98% of people age 18-29 use the internet now.

Trends from 2005 – 2013 – in slides below

Enjoy, feel free to use, and thank you Pew Internet and American Life Project!


Ted Eytan, MD