Status: We’re not all that satisfied with social media, yet we use it more than ever
This is one post you’re not going to like.
Many Americans say they give social media a thumbs down, ranking the likes of Twitter and Facebook low on the list of industries they’re satisfied with, according to data released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which surveyed nearly 5,000 people.
Indeed, they give social media companies a score of 73 out of 100 in terms of overall satisfaction, which puts the social networks in the bottom 1/4 of all the 40-plus industries ACSI ranks. (Breweries, soft drinks and TV and video players are among the most beloved industries; utilities and health insurance companies rank even lower than social media companies.) Popular sites like Facebook and Twitter score even lower than average for social media companies (68 and 70 out of 100, respectively), while Google+ and Pinterest score higher on the list.
So what’s with all the dislike for companies like Facebook and Twitter? Among the biggest complaints: The number of ads on the sites, privacy issues and the speed and reliability of video clips, the report shows.
All this whining about social media is a pretty strange reaction considering we’re now voluntarily using more than ever. Facebook announced last year that users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on its Instagram, Messenger and Facebook platforms – in 2014, we were spending just 40 minutes on the platforms.
What’s more, the number of people using social media is way up. Facebook hit a new record in June with 2 billion users. Instagram now has a record 700 million users and Twitter upwards of 300 million.
So why do we keep using something we say bothers us? One reason: “Pervasive FOMO,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., Author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. Because almost all of our friends and family are on social networks, we feel we have to do it too, to keep up. And, once we are on there, we often get sucked in, says psychologist Jude Miller Burke, author of the new book, The Adversity Advantage: Turn Your Childhood Hardship into Career and Life Success: “While we are using social media to see pictures of our sister’s kids, we receive ‘pop ups’ on the latest flood, drought, police brutality, or act of terrorism. We are then pulled into social media further to learn details.”
Whatever the reasons, one thing is clear: It’s not necessarily good for our well-being. The more time people spend on social media, the more likely it is they feel socially isolated — with people who spend more than two hours swiping through Facebook, Instagram and the like nearly doubling their risk of feeling social isolated. It also can be bad for your finances with many millennials saying social media contributes to them feeling a need to keep up with friend’s spending.
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