When someone says social media, the immediate thought is Facebook or perhaps Twitter.com or maybe even LinkedIn. As we all know, the social media-networking scene has exploded. There are literally hundreds of social media networks emerging targeting nearly every topic, interest group, or service imaginable. Women are no exception or strangers to this network explosion.

Ben Parr, the co-editor of Mashable.com, wrote an interesting article concerning young women and Facebook. This is the intro: “Young women are becoming more and more dependent on social media and checking on their social networks, according to a new study released earlier today by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research. In fact, as many as one-third of women aged 18-34 check Facebook when they first wake up, even before they get to the bathroom.”

Many bloggers wrote about the NBCU study when it first emerged in July 2010. The study included about 1600 women. While the study did acknowledge the use of the social media giant for business purposes, social media bloggers focused on the gossip driven facts. For example, the study found that 63 percent use Facebook for networking and career, but 42 percent don’t have a problem with posting photos of themselves ‘visibly intoxicated.’ When I went to school 63 was greater than 42.

Addicted or Capitalizing?

While Mr. Parr and others question whether these women are addicted to Facebook, I say these women are also capitalizing on the social media explosion. What the study did not focus on was the larger, 63 percent of women who promoted their service, company, website, or blog through Facebook. Joining and participating in niche specific women’s social networks and linking back to Facebook is capitalizing in my opinion.

For example, 10,587 people on Facebook like Foodbuzz, including me. Yep, I have a food blog, facebook pages, and am a member of FoodBuzz.com. Nope, I am not addicted to Facebook. In fact, I set my food blog to auto post to Facebook, along with setting email alerts so when someone comments or likes I can respond. Furthermore, while I do not have intoxicating photos to post, I do share the fun stuff including perhaps an intoxicating photo of a chef or two!

Yes social media has changed us. It is a primary form of  communication today. However to survey 1600 women and say women are addicted to Facebook because they check in before they brush their teeth is ridiculous! While I am not naive to what goes on, I think NBCU knows gossip = traffic, just sayin.

How about you, do you think the NBCU study is valid? Does it prove women are addicted to Facebook or are most capitalizing on the social media explosion?