Survey: Consumers need to take a break from social media

LOS ANGELES — More consumers are considering taking a break from their social media platforms, in large part because there are too many of them, according to a MyLife.com national survey on social media behavior released Tuesday. According to the MyLife 2013 Connecting and Communicating Online: State of Social Media study, 42% of online adults manage multiple social networking profiles — a number that jumps to 61% for those 18-34. More than half of all respondents (51%) belong to more social networks or visit their networks more frequently than two years ago. The average adult also manages 3.1 email addresses, up from 2.6 last year. And 68% manage different sets of friends, family, colleagues and contacts across multiple social networks. 

As many as 52% of respondents have either taken or considered taking a “vacation” from one or more social networks in the past year. Yet 56% experience anxiety around missing an important event or status update if they don’t keep an eye on their social networks, a condition coined "FOMO" (fear of missing out). 

“It’s universally accepted that people are living much of their lives online — their ‘Internet identities’ are their true identities, and they are spending an increasing amount of time managing all their connections and communications across multiple services, leading consumers to feel overwhelmed,” stated Jeff Tinsley, CEO of MyLife. 

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • Personal and professional online behavior — email is still relevant and LinkedIn adoption is on the rise;
  • Beyond calls/texts to their mobile phones, 57% stay in touch with friends through personal email accounts, more than via social networks (47%) or landline calls (37%);
  • LinkedIn adoption has increased among social networkers – 29% in 2013 vs. 22% in 2012;
  • Foursquare is the social network leveraged least among respondents;
  • Men prefer Twitter and Instagram while Pinterest is key among women;
  • While YouTube is the third most popular social network among men (29%), only 10% of women have a YouTube account;
  • Women (55%) are more likely to use social networking sites to reconnect with people from the past than men are (42%); and
  • For women aged 45-54, this increases to 63%. 

 

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