Pew made some noise earlier this year with a study finding that 61% of current Facebook users had at some point taken a break from the site for a few weeks or more. (Perhaps more importantly, they came back.) Now MyLife is jumping into the mix with survey results suggesting that 52% of social network users have either taken or considered taking a “vacation” from one or more social networks in the past year, and 24% plan to stop using or take a break from one this year. That figures climbs to 31% among 18-34-year-old users.
These users most commonly cited irrelevant or unimportant social network updates (41%) and too much time spent with the networks (32%) as reasons why they would take a break this year. Still, 56% of social network users overall report being afraid of missing something such as an event, news, important status update if they don’t keep tabs on their social networks.
The researchers argue that respondents (adults who are currently a member of more than one social networking site and currently have at least one email address) are becoming “overloaded” and “overwhelmed” with multiple social and email accounts. For example, 42% have multiple social media accounts, including 61% of 18-34-year-olds (who are also the most likely to want to take a break). The average respondent is also now managing 3.1 email addresses, up from 2.6 last year. 51% visit or log on more frequently to social networking sites now than they did a year ago, and 27% check their social networks as soon as they wake up in the morning.
These are all self-inflicted “wounds,” to be sure, with a simple remedy. According to the study, some may be considering it.
- Beyond calls or texts from their mobiles, 57% of respondents keep in touch with their friends through personal email, with social networks (47%) and landline calls (37%) slightly less popular methods.
- Male respondents were more likely than their female counterparts to have a Twitter (28% vs. 21%) and YouTube (29% vs. 10%) account, while the opposite was true for Pinterest (3% vs. 13%) More social networking user demographics can be found here.
About the Data: The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of MyLife.com from May 31-June 4, 2013 among 2,084 adults ages 18 and older. The online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.