Posted January 6, 2015 5:23 pm by with 0 comments

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Positive FaceWhat do you think about social media? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? A helpful thing or necessary evil?

According to a recent Harris Poll, more people have received a “tangible benefit” thanks to social media networking this year than they did in 2010. (The last time they conducted this survey.)

50% said they received a good suggestion for something to try and that’s up from only 40% in 2010.

11% said they found a new house or apartment because of social media, up from 9% in 2010.

21% made a career connection on social vs 15% in 2010.

While these numbers aren’t huge, it does point to a rise in social media use for reasons other than entertainment and each network has its own strengths and weaknesses.

You’d think LinkedIn would be the best place to search for job leads, but I find more leads on Twitter. Maybe because it’s easier to search or perhaps because it’s so easy and immediate. Good luck finding a job posting on Facebook.

If you’re looking for a person – Facebook is the way to go. Again, you’d think LinkedIn would be the first stop but I find that a large number of profiles are locked. If I search for that same person on Facebook I can reach out to them instantly.

As you would expect, the Harris Poll shows that millennials are  significantly more likely than all other generations to find what they need on social.

  • Received a good suggestion for something to try (66% vs. 56% Gen Xers, 37% Baby Boomers & 33% Matures)
  • Made a connection regarding a job opportunity (37% vs. 24% Gen Xers, 10% Baby Boomers & 6% Matures)
  • Found a new apartment or house (19% vs. 11% Gen Xers, 5% Baby Boomers & 2% Matures)

But it’s not all new apartments and designer dresses for less. 51% of social media users said they have been offended by a post, comment or picture and that’s up from 43% in 2010.

Sometimes, though, the trouble is of their own making.

12% of men said they got in trouble at work or school because of a picture they posted and 10% said they lost out on a job because of their social behavior.

The percentages are much lower for women (5% and 3%) which could mean that women are more careful about what they post or just more careful in general!

Instead of refraining from posting questionable photos, 71% of respondents said they trust the privacy settings to protect them from any blowback.

Surprising since confidence in privacy settings has dropped since 2010.

Bottom line is that most people are not only happy with social media, they see it as a repository of helpful information. So you don’t have to worry about a social media rebellion any time soon.