According to a December 2010 online survey “The Pros, Cons and Learning Curve of Social Media” from polling company Harris Interactive, social media has produced product suggestions, job & real estate opportunities for a significant portion of Americans online, with younger adults reaping the most benefits from social media use:
- two in five Americans (40%) say that they have received a good suggestion for something to try as a result of their use of social media
- 59% of Echo Boomers (those 18-33) say they have received a positive suggestion for something to try from their activity on social media, but only 44% of Gen Xers (those 34-45), 34% of Baby Boomers (ages 46-64), and 19% of Matures (65 and older) say the same
- one in ten overall (9%) found a new apartment or house through their social media use
- 15% overall say they have made a connection regarding a job opportunity
- nearly one-quarter (24%) of Echo Boomers have found a job opportunity through social media, but only one in ten (11%) of Baby Boomers
However, the poll also reveals some drawbacks to social media use: 43% of users say they have been offended by posts, comments or pictures they’ve seen on social media, and 26% say that unintended persons have viewed links or comments they’ve posted. Fortunately, 78% of social media users agreed that potentially negative experiences can be prevented through the use of privacy settings.