Despite critics, more on social networks

Kristyn Soltis

Twitter grows, MySpace slows

Credit: DKS Editors

Benjamin Cunningham, senior marketing major, thinks MySpace is “too high school,” and Twitter is stupid.

“I’m sorry for those who like Twitter,” Cunningham said. “It’s just constant updates of what you’re doing. ‘I’m sitting down on my couch.’ Oh boy, exciting stuff.”

Katlyn Grieve, senior exploratory major, also said she doesn’t care what other people are doing with their lives every second of the day. Her use of social networking stops with Facebook, which she said she only checks about once every two weeks.

“When I was in high school, it seemed like the thing to do, but now I don’t have time, and I don’t really care about other people’s lives that much,” Grieve said.

Grieve said while she rarely checks her account, she notices people she works with constantly checking theirs.

“I know a lot of people here are on it all the time so I think it’s a good way for people to stay connected, but I don’t really like to do it,”she said. “I don’t know, but it will probably be around for a little while longer before it just fades.”

That fading doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon. According to a recent Nielsen study, the company reported 17 percent of time spent on the Internet is devoted to social networking and blog sites.

Social media is experiencing continued growth, in large part, because of smartphones, marketing and women over the age of 55.


Smartphones have played a significant impact in social media growth as use has increased 187 percent to 18.3 million unique users in July 2009, according to Nielsen.

Social networking sites account for 32 percent of all smartphone activity during the year where Facebook takes the top spot with 14.7 million viewers, followed by MySpace and Twitter.

Cristina Valentine, junior hospitality management major, has a Twitter account but said she rarely uses it because she doesn’t have a smartphone.

“I would only use it if I have a phone with the Internet,” Valentine said. “I wouldn’t really use it with my computer. It is just something to kill time during class.”

The only form of social networking Valentine uses is Facebook.

Overall, females outnumber males in every age group on Facebook, and a fair amount of the increase in users may be credited to women 55 years old and older; the fastest growing demographic for the social networking site.

Linda Roebke, 68, opened her Facebook account in the summer of 2008 after a younger friend encouraged her to do it.

“I got really curious to know what it was all about and what I was missing out on,” Roebke said.

She said she was never interested in creating any other form of social networking accounts.

“MySpace, I wasn’t really interested in that at all. And Twitter, I’m not into Twitter,” Roebke said. “I don’t want to do that. I’m not one to be saying ‘now I’m doing this, and now I’m doing that’ because I don’t think anybody is interested in what I’m doing.”

Since the creation of Roebke’s Facebook account, she has been called a “stalker.”

“I had said something about something I knew because I had heard it on Facebook,” she said. “Then this person said to me, ‘Well, you’re just a stalker then because you’re listening in, but you’re not saying anything.’ And that’s probably true, but I think that’s kind of a negative attitude. I don’t like to think of myself as a stalker.”


Valentine said she thinks the one social networking site that will eventually fade is MySpace.

“I think it will eventually fade out like Xanga,” Valentine said. “Its only major use these days is music, like either bands or people trying to get their beats or singles out, not so much as a use for a social communication.”

While MySpace traffic lost 4,014,400 visitors from July to August, the $495 million projected revenue is still expected to be greater than Facebook’s $230 million.

The projected amount of spending on social networking marketing all together is expected to increase from $716 million to $3.1 billion by 2014. This increase points to a healthy amount of continued growth in the future for social media.

Contact technology reporter Kristyn Soltis at [email protected].