An adult woman will spend 8 months longer than a man on social networking sites during her lifetime, according to a new study by inbound marketing agency, Browser Media.
In fact, women spend the equivalent of 963 days over their lifetime, or 60 minutes per day on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, compared to 723 days, or just 48 minutes per day, for men.
The study also revealed that people are prepared to give up some surprising ‘real life’ activities such as socialising/going out (14%), sleep (10%) and even sex (8%) in order to spend time on social networks. Other commonly sacrificed activities include watching television & films, chatting on the phone, reading, and cooking.
Joe Friedlein, managing director, Browser Media said: “Smart phones now mean that social networking is both a round the clock and on-the-go activity, with no need to stop until your device runs out of battery. Therefore it comes as no surprise that social networking addiction has become a new twenty first century ailment, especially when individuals are giving up necessities such as sleeping and cooking.”
Women forfeit chores
The research also confirmed the stereotype that the fairer sex is also the most sociable sex: 73% of women say they use social networking sites, whereas the figure was much lower (62%) for men. In terms of the activities they would forfeit, almost twice as many women as men are prepared to ignore the household chores in order to read status updates or tweets. However, it wasn’t clear whether this was because men are less prepared to sacrifice chores or it wouldn’t occur to do them in the first place.
• 18-25 year olds are the most prevalent adult users of social networking sites. Ninety-two per cent of this age group use social networking sites and if these current usage levels continue, they would lose over three and a half years of their life to social networking sites.
• Social networking use declines with age, with the exception of the 65+ age group where a resurgence in usage is evident. The lowest use is in the 55-64 age bracket at just 19 minutes per day vs. 29 minutes for the over 65s.
• Regionality has a role to play in social networking, with people in Sheffield spending twice as long (72 minutes per day) as people in Edinburgh (35 minutes). Glasgow (66), Oxford (66) and Newcastle (65) all top the list of the heaviest users per day, whilst Brighton (42), Milton Keynes (40) and Liverpool (39) are all at the lower end of the scale.
Friedlein concluded: “If you’re young, female and live in Sheffield, it is highly likely that you spend a substantial part of your day on social networking sites. The question is whether that is a bad thing or not. Are we really making sacrifices or has our daily life simply evolved and today’s children will assume that spending time on our devices is absolutely normal?
“To some extent the answer to this question lies in whether social media is seen as an enabler or an obstruction to everyday living: gauging the opinions of other trusted friends and family about where to go on holiday or suchlike, is much more efficient and effective via social networking sites for example than in person.
“Much has been written about multi-screen usage such as using a combination of phones, tablets, computers and TVs but equally interesting is our ability to multi-task - using social networking sites when we are doing other tasks. Lots of brands are trying to vie for our attention in this space and the ones that are successful have a good instinct for how to pull up a chair at a digital table they haven’t necessarily been invited to sit at.”