Social Networking an Addiction!

I couldn’t help but laugh when I read that a recent US study claims that social networking sites are more addictive than alcohol or cigarettes. Yes, I have made the jokes with friends at times. Hi, My name’s Michelle and I’m a Facebook-a-holic.

An Australian survey has revealed that 30% of internet users check Facebook five or more times a day. I have to stand up and say that I am one of those 30%, and that’s just Facebook – then you have to think of Twitter aswell and I must admit I’m a little too attached to my email account. During the day, away from my computer, and I have it all at my fingertips on my phone. How many of us are guilty of that also, and then when I’m at home it’s all open in background windows, just a click away.

Again, I have to say…. Hi! My name’s Michelle, I’m a Tweet-a-holic. It’s been 115 minutes since my last retweet and my fingers are beginning to itch.

But this isn’t about  getting personal and airing my addictions, Canstar Blue surveyed 1,241 internet users and discovered that 27% of respondents were so attached to their Facebook accounts that they checked their page at least five times a day. And really you think about it, 5 times isn’t THAT many. Over breakfast, at morning tea, at lunch, as you leave work and a bit of a play after dinner – that doesn’t seem like much at all.

“Generation Y respondents topped the Facebook addiction charts, with a high 56% excessively attached to their Facebook account, compared with 39% of Generation X and a modest 13% of Baby Boomer respondents,” said Manager of Canstar Blue Rebecca Logan.

The battle of the sexes is not so clearly defined in this respect as one might have thought, 29% of females check in five or more times a day compared to 25% of males.

“There are many positive aspects to Facebook use, including an increased sense of community through contact with family, friends and prospective new friends. However, when people are checking Facebook this many times a day it starts to become a time burglar and eat into other work and recreational commitments.”

This is a statement that I totally agree with, but that is part of the nature of the addiction I think. You keep going to check to see if anyone else is having a more exciting day, week, life than you are. Facebook is social media, social networking, and there are so many societal observations I could make about the way some people use their accounts but that’s not what we’re here for.

‘Silver surfers’ is a term that I hadn’t heard before, but the survey proves it was coined for a reason. The over 50’s is one of the fastest growing demographics online, they are fast catching up with the Gen Y’s and their online time. The Canstar Blue survey showed that 49% of Baby Boomers surveyed spent more than three hours a day online outside of work, compared with 61% of Generation Y and 49% of Generation X.

The survey also covered downloading of music and videos that hadn’t been purchased, 19% of internet users surveyed admitted to this practice. Perhaps not so surprisingly is the generational breakdown of the habit. A relatively small 9% of Baby Boomers regularly download music and videos they haven’t paid for. This is very small compared to the 44% of Gen Y survey respondents who admitted to the habit, and even compared to the 26% of Gen X respondents.

Broadband Customer Satisfaction was another section of the survey, one I’m sure many of us are interested in the results of.

Westnet, the Perth-based challenger brand, took out the title of Canstar Blue’s second Broadband Customer Satisfaction Award, to get it they beat Telstra BigPond, TPG, Optus, iPrimus, Dodo, iiNet and Internode. According to Westnet customers they are at the top of their game when it comes to overall satisfaction, value for money, tech support, reliability and billing. Speed and download quota value for money saw Westnet tie for first place.

“It is impressive to see Westnet bolt up the charts in the past twelve months as a challenger brand to take out first place in the increasingly competitive market of broadband providers”.

Colmar Brunton are commissioned by Canstar Blue every few months to survey 2500 Australian consumers across a range of categories for the purpose of measuring and tracking customer satisfaction.

The results of the broadband survey reported are from 1,241 respondents within the survey group who have a broadband account in their name and pay the bills. Brands must receive at least 30 responses to be included.

Canstar Blue manager Rebecca Logan says:

“We launched Canstar Blue to give Australians a free online resource to help them with their key purchasing decisions by making it simple for them to learn from the experiences of other consumers. It is essentially a guide to product excellence as voted by customers.”

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