Boost Mobile have conducted a survey of 500 males and females between the ages of 16-25 years, throughout Australia and have some incredible findings in relation to social media addiction.
The findings found that social media has cultivated a new breed of social media addict, between the ages of 16-25. Like drugs and alcohol this addiction can actually contradict the social objectives it was originally designed to enhance.
How often do you check your social media feeds?
Almost half of the survey group admitted to being addicted to social media. This admittance was most prominent amongst females, with 60% ‘addicted’
68% of those surveyed confessed to checking their social media feeds up to a staggering 10 times a day.
“This was a really incredible finding and just shows the reliance youth now have on social media. They wouldn’t email or call their friends ten times a day, but they’re happy to check their Facebook or Twitter this number of times to ensure they keep up with their friend’s posts, the latest news, celebrity headlines, or information about their favourite brand.
“People also use social media frequently because it enables them to share pictures and chat instantly”, said Paul O’Neile, CEO, Boost Mobile.
The Mobile Youth Report for 2012 also found that 15-19 year olds spend three hours a day on social media while 20-29 year olds spend two full hours interacting socially.
Where do people check their social media?
There were a number of places respondents were happy to say they checked their social media.
In bed, was the most popular place people chose to check their social media feeds. 66% of respondents admitted to clicking into their Facebook page while under the covers!
31% of young adults also freely admitted to reading , writing and feeding their social media addiction, while on the toilet.
45% said eating was one of their most popular times to look at their timelines and in a shocking admission to school teachers and uni lecturers, 37% admitted to finding their social networking updates more important and interesting than listening in the class room.
Other popular places for social addicts to look at their phone, was while they were working out at the gym, driving their car and at social events such as cafes or parties.
“These findings show us that some people may have lost all traditional social graces. With the prominence of smart phones they are happy to use their phone anytime and anywhere, just to keep up with what their friends are saying or what pictures have been posted”, O’Neile stated.
It was no surprise that Facebook is the most used form of social media, with 90% of people surveyed actively using their account and just 20% of the 500 people surveyed not having access to a smartphone. Most people who didn’t own a smart phone were from regional areas.
55% of youths check their social media feeds on mobile devices rather than traditional laptops or desktops. This is up 15% from the last two years (Mobile Youth Report, 2012).
Boost Mobile has been tracking this staggering movement of social addiction and is now categorising these various addictions to help those out there realise their habit;
Generation ‘F’ (Facebook): Constant scanning for notifications and feeds for new activity and it’s not unusual for these people to have 1,000 friends and the survey results found that these people can check their Facebook 50 times or more throughout the day.
Tweet Freak: Typing every thought that comes to mind, no matter how inappropriate or irrelevant. There have been 200,000 (Margin Media) new Australians on Twitter since March this year, taking the total account holders up to 1.8 millon people.
Pin Head: Scrapbooking on steroids! Collecting every video and image that catches the eye. 470,000 people throughout the country are now actively involved in Pinterest.
“We know that using Facebook is a way to organise meeting up with genuine and not virtual friends and we encourage this. Amidst the worry of addiction, social media has definitely made young Australians more social. As with everything, it’s about balance, so young adults still need to text or call their friends about meeting up.
“Fortunately we have found that youths, while they are happy to admit to social media addiction, still prefer offline interaction to help nurture relationships and develop friendships - new or old”, concluded O’Neile.
To interview Paul O’Neile, CEO Boost Mobile, on the findings of this social media addiction survey, please contact Joe Hughes from N O W! Communications on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0423 491 808.