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Has social media peaked? Many regular users say they used it more a year ago

by | Feb 1, 2019 | Public Relations

The issues surrounding social media have been front and center in recent months, but is it changing how regular social media users are actually using these platforms? According to new research from Regina Corso Consulting, over half of regular users (55 percent) say compared to a year ago, they find themselves using social media a lot less. This number jumps to almost two-thirds of Millennials (64 percent) who say they are using social media a lot less this year.

Brand interactions and connections remain popular

Three-quarters of regular users (76 percent) say social media is a great way to connect with brands and companies. Generation Z, Millennials and Generation Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation to feel this way (84 percent, 84 percent, and 80 percent vs. 65 percent and 57 percent), which shows that social media is a great way for brands to interact with the younger generations. This is something certain brands who tend to be “edgy” on Twitter have figured out already.

Has social media peaked? Many regular users say they used it more a year ago

Lower your privacy expectations

Social media has become a part of everyday life now, and almost nine in ten Americans (86 percent) are regular users (at least 1-2 times a week) of one of those social media sites. And, while so much of the focus on using these sites is privacy, almost two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) and over three in five regular social media users (63 percent) say people on social media should not have any expectations of privacy.

Social media is also a way to expand a social network

While social media can make people feel lonelier, it also creates new “friends.” A majority of regular social media users (51 percent) say their social network in real life has expanded because of their social media network. Generation Z, Millennials and Generation Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation to say this (60 percent, 63 percent and 55 percent vs. 34 percent and 34 percent). Interestingly, men are also more likely than women to say social media has increased their real-life social network (58 percent vs. 46 percent).

There is also the FOMO issue of social media

Almost two in five regular social media users (38 percent) say they want to stop using social media, but are afraid of what they might miss. The Fear of Missing Out factor is strongest with Generation Z (49 percent) and Millennials (52 percent). There is also a parental disconnect. Half of those who have a child in the household (51 percent) say they want to stop using social media but are afraid of what they might miss compared to three in ten of those without a child in the household (29 percent).

Has social media peaked? Many regular users say they used it more a year ago

This data from a survey conducted by Regina Corso Consulting of 2,141 U.S. adults, 18 and older between January 15 and 18, 2019, of whom 1,837 are regular social media users (use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and/or Snapchat at least 1-2 times a week).

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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