US Survey Shows People Fear Missing Out On Social Networks

August 2, 2012
It seems a new kind of fear has risen -- that is, the fear of not being able to log on to one's online social media accounts. In a recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive for MyLife.com, the results showed that US citizens aged 18 and above have developed a so-called fear or missing out due to their increased reliance on online networks. The study gathered responses online from 2,037 adults from July 13 to 17, 2012 to find out the social media habits of people living in the US, as well as the reasons they find themselves compelled to update their accounts.

I'd Do Anything!

Sixty-two percent of the respondents said they keep an eye on their social networks because they don't want to miss anything, be it a news event or a friend's status update. In fact, nearly 40 percent had even said they'd rather go through something unpleasant, like stay in jail overnight or get a root canal, before they would give up their social networking profiles. "Consumers are bombarded with so much information online - from status updates and photos to tweets and check-ins - that our anxiety around missing out has shifted to our digital lives," said Jeff Tinsley, CEO of MyLife. And to further show how serious these people are when it comes to protecting their online status, some 38 percent of those polled and with multiple profiles even admit logging on to their accounts after they wake up and before they check their mail.

Who's Popular?

Given that all everyone seems to talk about nowadays is Facebook or Twitter, MyLife's study reveals that it is actually the social networking site LinkedIn that is the most visited for information consumption, accounting for 68 percent of the respondents. Second place goes to YouTube, 57 percent, third is Twitter, 53 percent, followed by Pinterest, 48 percent, and, surprisingly, Facebook with 46 percent. "Surprisingly enough, while everyone knows different social networks serve different purposes, the way people are using sites to consume or share content doesn't fall in line with what we might expect," added Tinsley. When asked what they hope would be improved in terms of online networking, 3 out of 5 said they wished a solution to help them use, monitor and protect their social profiles and emails at once existed. And this could actually be a very legitimate request -- over a quarter send messages from within their social network more than their primary email account. What about you? Are your hashtags running your life?

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