Consumers Could Give Up Social Media, Stronger Ties To Phone, Email

Rarely a day goes by without some researcher or commentator suggesting that social media is highly addictive, or at least critical to consumers’ lives.
Consumers, at least, don’t think social networking is that big a deal. In fact, just 11% say social media would be “very hard” to give up, according new findings from the Pew Research Center.
By contrast, 28% of consumers still say it would be very hard to live without their telephone landline, while 36% express dismay at the thought of living without email.
Pew’s findings were based on data from telephone interviews with 1,006 U.S. adults, which were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International earlier this year.
Despite the media’s fascination with social media overload, and the bad behavior it facilitates, people seem to see the Web, and its role in their lives, as mostly positive. Indeed, 67% of Web users say their online communication with family and friends has generally strengthened those relationships, while 18% say it generally weakens those relationships.
As Pew points out, there are no significant demographic differences tied to users’ feelings about the impact of online communication on relationships.
Asked for a broad perspective about the civility or incivility they have either witnessed or encountered during their online tenure, 76% of Web users say the people they witnessed or encountered online are mostly kind, compared to just 13% who say people are mostly unkind.
People were also considerably more likely to say they themselves had been treated kindly than they had been treated unkindly or attacked. Internet users were more likely to say online group behavior they had seen had been helpful, rather than harmful.
Overall, 70% of Internet users say they had been treated kindly or generously by others online. That compares with 25% who say they have been treated unkindly or been attacked.
In addition, 56% of Internet users say they have seen an online group come together to help a person or a community solve a problem. That compares with 25% who say they have left an online group because the interaction became too heated or members were unpleasant to one another.



3 comments about "Consumers Could Give Up Social Media, Stronger Ties To Phone, Email".
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  1. Harry Hawk from Bread Depo, Inc, February 28, 2014 at 4:29 p.m.

    While people would find it easy to give up social media conceptually, in the same way they would rather keep their home vs. giving up soda or ice cream -- the reality is they are highly habituated to social media for maintaining "connection-less" relationships with their friends/family.

    Connection-less, means they can stay in touch without actually "talking" F2F or via telephony, Etc. The term comes from wide area networking. The benefits of connection-less connections are clear but are sub-conscious for most consumers.

  2. Miriam Bookey from Mind Over Media, LLC, February 28, 2014 at 9:53 p.m.

    I think it's comical that we're still performing telephone surveys about the digital world. Of course these people, reached via telephone, are going to say that their phones are important. Let's conduct this research via Facebook and see how the responses skew far more toward social media addiction. We're seeing skyrocketing traffic and engagement on our clients' social media platforms. Surveys say one thing, clicks say another.

  3. Heather MacLean from TaylorMade Solutions, March 1, 2014 at 8:53 a.m.

    Regardless of how the survey was conducted, I think that we also have to look at the maturity of social. While various aspects have been around now for more than a decade, social norms and even legislation are lagging. Things happened relatively quickly when you think about it and "some" people took advantage of this to execute less than honourable efforts. Over time, we have seen self-policing activity where others step in when bullying and/or trolling occurs. We have also seen new laws coming into effect and so on. It is not perfect. For those old enough to remember, people used to make prank phone calls. Sometimes they were funny. Sometimes they were cruel. Sometimes they were fear inducing. Today we rarely hear of prank calls. Now, our attention is turned to online bullying, brand misuse and misinformation - as it should be.

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