According to new research from BT, Brits are becoming more needy as less time is spent in the real world and more time on social media.
The research highlighted the average Brit now has three social media accounts, spending two hours and 12 minutes a day posting and sharing statuses, pictures and videos. Although as Brits we claim to be some of the friendliest and welcoming in the world, in reality more time is being spent on social media with the average person checking social media accounts 17 times a day.
Not only are Brits spending more and more time with noses buried in what seems like an endless collection of wedding and baby photos (at least on your correspondent’s news feed), users are also becoming more self-involved. The average person now takes nine minutes to create and compose the perfect message and a total of 20 minutes if a picture is involved.
If this wasn’t enough self-indulgence, ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ will then go on to dictate moods. Anything less than 33 reactions is considered a disappointment, and when there isn’t a single engagement it’s even worse. 17% of those who participated in the survey said it makes them feel friendless, 16% said insecure and a further 14% feel stupid. When the target number of reactions is reached, 27% of the respondents said they feel valued.
“’Likes’ or ‘shares’ on a post seem to provide us with the instant gratification that we crave and it’s interesting to see people collecting online ‘friends’ without stopping to think how many are actually friends,” said Psychologist Becky Spelman. “It’s not surprising to see men having more issues with social media dependence than women, as they often have less well-developed social networks and fewer emotional ties in the real world.
“Superficial interactions such as ‘liking’ someone’s posts are harmless in themselves, but people need to be careful that when they interact with social media they don’t forget real life relationships with friends and family members. I would recommend limiting friends on social media to people you actually communicate with and know in a meaningful way, rather than just anyone who has ever sent a friend request. Social media channels work for us when we use them as a tool to communicate, not a way to judge our self-worth.”
While the growth of the internet and social media has proved to be a saviour for small businesses and entrepreneurs, the social capabilities and self-esteem of individuals could be called into question. The findings leave one question to be asked:
WILL YOU PLEASE SHARE THIS STORY?