Guest post by Joe Friedlein
It is no secret that social networking sites have pervaded every aspect of our lives, with people being bombarded daily by friends, contacts and brands, encouraged to tweet and share online content. Online social interaction has become the norm, but a recent survey by inbound marketing agency Browser Media suggests that many people sacrifice real life activities in favour of social networking.
The survey suggests that out of the 2,042 people interviewed, 14% would sacrifice socializing, 10% will miss out on sleep and 8% would swap sex for social networking to spend more time checking status updates.
The study concluded the women spend the equivalent of 963 days on social networking sites during their lives, which equates to 60 minutes per day. In comparison, it is estimated that men will spend 723 days of their lives, or 48 minutes per day social networking.
When it comes to age groups, young people are the most active with social media. 92% of those surveyed in the 18-25 age range regularly use social networking sites, with use dropping slowly as age increases.
With the evolution of smart phones allowing convenient access to social networks on a 24/7 basis, there is little imperative to stop other than running out of battery. This has led some to identify the trend as a 21st-century related ailment, with an increase in clinics treating ‘social networking addiction’.
The social landscape has changed enormously, both for consumers and the brands with which they interact. It seems likely that the children of today will perceive constant online interaction as normal. Whether this is a bad thing or not is the topic of much debate, and it will be fascinating to see where we go from here.
Joe Friedlein, MD Browser Media. A veteran of the web 1.0 days, Joe has an extensive working knowledge of ‘all things web’ but has focused on search engine marketing (and more recently ‘inbound marketing’) for the past 8 years.