Social Media, Social Life: How American Teens View Their Digital Lives, United States, 2012 (ICPSR 37960)

Version Date: May 13, 2021 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Vicky Rideout, VJR Consulting

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The goal of this study was to examine young American teenagers' social media use and their perceptions of effects. Data is from a large-scale, nationally representative and probability-based online survey taken by teens ages 13 to 17. Participants answered questions about how often they use social media, their attitudes about social media's role in their lives, the experiences they have on social media, and how social media makes them feel. Social media includes:

  • Social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, and GooglePlus)
  • Programs like Twitter or Tumblr, virtual worlds like Second Life
  • Online chatting in video or computer games like World of Warcraft
  • Things posted on sites like YouTube, Formspring, or other websites
  • Additional information was collected about participants' social and emotional well-being. Demographics include age, gender, race/ethnicity, and U.S. region.

    Rideout, Vicky. Social Media, Social Life: How American Teens View Their Digital Lives, United States, 2012. [distributor], 2021-05-13.

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    Users are reminded that these data are to be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information and not for the investigation of specific individuals.


    2012-02-22 -- 2012-03-11
    1. For additional information on the Social Media, Social Life study, please visit Common Sense Media's webpage about a report using this data.

    Data is from a nationally representative, probability-based cross-sectional survey of 1,030 13- to 17-year-olds in the United States. Members of the panel were randomly recruited to participate using address-based sampling and random-digit-dial telephone surveys. Households that were not already online were provided with notebook computers and dial-up Internet access for the purpose of participating.


    Teens in the United States who are between the ages of 13 and 17.




    This collection contains one weight variable ("weight"), which gives the sample weights for all qualified respondents.