Study: Social media users are overwhelmed with updates

A recent study by online community MyLife.com revealed that more than half regular social media users are overwhelmed by the large number of updates and would like to take a break from social networking.

A trend that doesn’t bode well for marketers, these results are based on a survey conducted online with 2,084 US users aged 18 and above, who currently have accounts on more than one social network, and have at least one email account. Here are key insights that came up from the survey:

  • 27% of the respondents check their social networks as soon as they wake up in the morning
  • 56% of the respondents said they had a ‘Fear of Missing Out’, i.e. they were worried that they would miss hearing about an important event or news if they don’t keep an eye on their social networks

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  • 52% of the respondents have either taken or considered taking a ‘vacation’ from one or more social networks
  • 24% plan to take a break from social networking this year
  • The top reasons given for wanting to take a break from social media are irrelevant updates and lack of time
  • 58% of the respondents wished there was a way to monitor all of their social networking accounts and email accounts from one place

With people, on average, managing more than 3 email accounts and several social media profiles, it seems like a matter of time before the sheer volume of information became overwhelming. Though this study was based on US internet users, users in India too, are starting to tire of social media. Updates from celebrities, petitions, people’s self-taken pictures and photographs of food are some of the updates people reportedly said they wished would disappear from their news feeds.

Updates from brands don’t currently feature in this list, but could they be adding to the clutter? Marketers, share your thoughts with us. How can such a  situation be avoided?