Two Pew Internet Project surveys of teens and adults reveal a decline in blogging among teens and young adults and a modest rise among adults 30 and older. In 2006, 28% of teens ages 12-17 and young adults ages 18-29 were bloggers, but by 2009 the numbers had dropped to 14% of teens and 15% of young adults. During the same period, the percentage of online adults over thirty who were bloggers rose from 7% blogging in 2006 to 11% in 2009.
Much of the drop in blogging among younger internet users may be attributable to changes in social network use by teens and young adults. Nearly three quarters (73%) of online teens and an equal number (72%) of young adults use social network sites. By contrast, older adults have not kept pace; some 40% of adults 30 and older use the social sites in the fall of 2009.
Additionally, teens ages 12-17 do not use Twitter in large numbers – just 8% of online teens 12-17 say they ever use Twitter, a percentage similar to the number who use virtual worlds. This puts Twitter far down the list of popular online activities for teens and stands in stark contrast to their record of being early adopters of nearly every online activity.
However, even as blogging declines among those under 30, wireless connectivity continues to rise in this age group. “We often look to younger generations to see where technology use might be headed in the future,” lead author Amanda Lenhart noted. “People under 30 have often been in the vanguard of internet and cell-phone use, and it will be interesting to see how much of their enthusiasm for new gadgets is a time-of-life issue, and how much will ripple through the broader culture in the coming years.”
New survey results also show that among adults 18 and older, Facebook has taken over as the social network of choice; 73% of adult profile owners use Facebook, 48% have a profile on MySpace and 14% use LinkedIn. “Blogging appears to have lost its luster for many young users,” said Lenhart. “The fad stage is over for teens and young adults and the move to Facebook -- which lacks a specific tool for blogging within the network -- may have contributed to the decline of blogging among young adults and teens.”
Lenhart also pointed out that many of the functions that blogging served for teens in the mid-2000s for communicating about their lives and updating their activities for their friends have become central activities on social networking sites. “Microblogging and status updating on social networks have replaced old-style ‘macro-blogging’ for many teens and adults,” she said.
About the Survey
This report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is a part of a series of reports undertaken by the Pew Research Center that highlight the attitudes and behaviors of the Millennial generation, a cohort we define here as adults ages 18 to 29. The Pew Internet Project has conducted more than 100 surveys and written more than 200 reports on the topic of teen and adult internet use, all of which are freely available on our website: www.pewinternet.org. This report brings together recent findings about internet and social media use among young adults by situating it within comparable data for adolescents and adults older than 30. All the most current data on teens is drawn from a survey we conducted between June 26 and September 24, 2009 of 800 adolescents between ages 12 and 17. Most of the adult data are drawn from a survey we conducted between August 18 and September 14, 2009 of 2,253 adults (age 18 and over). At times, though, we draw from other adult surveys and we will note where that occurs. For more information, please see the methodology section.
This publication is part of a Pew Research Center report series that looks at the values, attitudes and experiences of America’s next generation: the Millennials. Find out how today’s teens and twentysomethings are reshaping the nation at: www.pewresearch.org/millennials