Survey unveils adults' attachment to social networks

LOS ANGELES — According to a survey commissioned by MyLife, 40% of consumers are so hooked to their social media outlets that they’d rather undertake unpleasant or even painful activities before they’d give up tweeting or updating their Facebook status.

As many as 62% of adults who currently are a member of more than one social networking site said they keep an eye on their social networks because they don’t want to miss something (e.g., news or an important event or status update). And as many as 38% of social media users between the ages of 18 and 34 years, who have multiple profiles, log onto those social networking profiles after they wake up before they check email.

“Consumers are bombarded with so much information online — from status updates and photos to tweets and check-ins — that our anxiety around missing out has shifted to our digital lives,” MyLife CEO Jeff Tinsley said. “The fact that many people would rather run a marathon or spend a night in jail than give up their Facebook or Twitter account is proof positive.”

While Facebook is widely known to be the most popular social network worldwide, the site actually doesn’t top social media users’ lists when it comes to being the primary social profile they turn to for consuming or sharing content, or even a mix of both, MyLife reported. LinkedIn is tops for consumption (i.e., to observe without actively posting anything), as 68% of online adults who are a member of LinkedIn said they use the site mainly to consume content. YouTube (57%) and Twitter (53%) were next in line when it came to sites where users tend to primarily view content without sharing.

Pinterest (48%) narrowly edged out Facebook (46%) as the site where users are most likely to equally consume and share content. “Surprisingly enough, while everyone knows different social networks serve different purposes, the way people are using sites to consume or share content doesn’t fall in line with what we might expect,” Tinsley said. “Facebook was passed by Foursquare as the primary place people share content and newcomer Pinterest edged out the social media giant when it came to the site where users equally share in both activities.”