Who Blogs More: Boys or Girls?

According to a study called “Teens and Social Media” released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, girls are blogging more than the guys.  In 2004, only 19% of teens surveyed were blogging, but the latest sutdy finds that 28% of survey participants are now blogging. 

Why are more teens blogging in 2007?  Tony Hung, editor of the BlogHerald, says, “The report postulates that there is a greater integration of blogging as an educational tool amongst schools; some classes in some schools even report that they were asked to post papers to their blog before submission so that their classmates could comment and provide feedback — both for online and offline conversations in class.”   As you may already know, more teachers in the Cherokee County School District are using blogs as educational tools.

 The researchers who conducted this survey note that “…the use of social media—from blogging to online social networking to creation of all kinds of digital material—is central to many teenagers’ lives.  Some 93% of teens use the internet, and more of them than ever are treating it as a venue for social interaction—a place where they can share creations, tell stories, and interact with others.”

 Here is a snapshot of the findings from the report:

 

Teens and Social Media: Summary of Findings at a Glance

The use of social media – from blogging to online social networking to creation of all kinds of digital material – is central to many teenagers’ lives.

Girls continue to lead the charge as the teen blogosphere grows; 28% of online teens have created a blog, up from 19% in 2004.

The growth in blogs tracks with the growth in teens’ use of social networking sites, but they do not completely overlap.

Online boys are avid users of video-sharing websites such as YouTube, and boys are more likely than girls to upload.

Digital images – stills and videos – have a big role in teen life.

Posting images and video often starts a virtual conversation. Most teens receive some feedback on the content they post online.

Most teens restrict access to their posted photos and videos – at least some of the time. Adults restrict access to the same content less often.

In the midst of the digital media mix, the landline is still a lifeline for teen social life.

Multi-channel teens layer each new communications opportunity on top of pre-existing channels.

Email continues to lose its luster among teens as texting, instant messaging, and social networking sites facilitate more frequent contact with friends.

Source: Lenhart, A. Madden, M. Rankin Macgill, A. Smith, A., Teens and Social Media: The use of social media gains a greater foothold in teen life as email continues to lose its luster. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American

While there are now more teens creating blogs than there were when we last surveyed, the teen blog-reading audience has also grown. Half of all online teens (49%) now read the online journals or blogs of others, up from 38% in 2004. Fully 59% of teens who go online on a daily basis read blogs, compared with just 39% of teens who go online several times per week.

Demographics of Teen Blog Readers

Percent of blog reading teens who are …

Sex

Boys

43%

Girls

57

Age

12-14

39

15-17

61

Family Income

Less than $30,000 annually

14

$30,000 – $49,999

23

$50,000 – $74,999

22

$75,000 +

41

Locale

Urban

27

Suburban

52

Rural

21

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey of Parents and Teens, October.-November 2006. Teen blog readers n=444. Margin of error for teens is ±4%.

 

The older the teen, the more likely he or she is to follow the blogosphere; while 40% of online teens ages 12-14 read blogs, 58% of online teens ages 15-17 are blog readers. Just as girls are primarily the ones who are authoring teen blogs, they are also primarily the ones reading them. More than half of online teen girls read blogs compared with two in five online teen boys (55% vs. 43%). Again, older girls lead the pack, with 64% reading blogs, while just 52% of older boys are blog readers.

You can read the entire 44 page report that was released on December 19, 2007 at http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Teens_Social_Media_Final.pdf . 

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