Volunteering down at the Farmville?


The American Pew Research Center has just published a new study as part of its Pew Internet & American Life Project. The study focuses on the social side of the internet and finds a positive correlation between internet use and participation in a voluntary group:

80% of internet users participate in groups, compared with 56% of non-internet users. Moreover, social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants.

This runs contrary to those who view time spent on the internet and in particular, social media sites, as time wasted. However the findings are really not that surprising. Used in a certain way, the internet can generate both a sense of community and provide both the tools and the motivation to strengthen social bonds and form social networks. All of these factors play a key part in a individuals decision to volunteer and the frequency of the volunteering. With the internet providing a plethora of free resources to voluntary organisations, the study also finds the internet viewed as an effective resource to increase the efficiency of volunteer management:

68% of all Americans (internet users and non‐users alike) said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to communicate with members. Some 75% of internet users said that.

The pdf. file of the study can be found here





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