Study: 75 percent of parents are on Facebook

You know Facebook isn’t cool anymore when the majority of parents are on it.

A new Pew study on how parents — defined as those with children under 18 — use social media has found that three-quarters of parents are on Facebook. And they really do use Facebook, with 94 percent of parents saying they share, post and comment on the site. Mothers tend to use Facebook more than fathers, with 37 percent of mothers checking Facebook “frequently,” whereas only 20 percent of fathers do the same.

Seventy-five percent of parents log on daily, with 51 percent using social media several times a day. This is more frequent than non-parents, with only 67 percent checking Facebook daily and 42 percent checking multiple times a day.

Parents tend to give and receive emotional, social and parental advice on Facebook: 81 percent of parents try to respond to good news their friends have shared, and 58 percent of parents try to respond to bad news as well. Seventy-four percent have received support from friends on Facebook, and 45 percent of mothers who use social media “strongly agree” that they get support from friends, more than double the 22 percent of fathers who feel the same. Seventy-nine percent of parents who use social media have found useful information on the social network, with more than half finding useful parenting advice.

Parents tend to have closer-knit social networks than non-parents. Of the median 150 friends that parents have on Facebook, a median 50 of those are “actual” friends. (From the study: “Facebook networks are composed of a variety of people, not all of whom are necessarily considered close.”) Non-parents tend to know their social network less: They have a median of 200 friends and a median 40 of those are “actual” friends. Parents are also more likely to have their kids, neighbors, work colleagues, and their own parents added on Facebook than non-parents, who tend to have more of their current friends on Facebook.

Photo: Facebook login page on a computer screen (AP Photo/Stace Maude)


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