I don’t know about you but social media is both a blessing and a curse. For Lent, and no I am not Catholic but I like the concept of Lent, I decided to reduce the time I spend on social media. What makes this even funnier is that I am taking a class all about social media. Talk about a major problem… limit my social media while learning about it. No one ever said I made the wisest of decisions. LOL.
So to reduce the time I spent on social media, I first needed to know how much time I was really on it being unproductive. Yikes!!! The results were scary. It was the first thing that I looked at in the morning and the last thing before bed. I checked it way too many times throughout the day just for a break. I gave up on figuring out the total minutes, but I think I have a problem! So I decided to see how much of a problem that I really had versus the rest of the world.
The nerd in me broke out my smart glasses, pulled my hair into a ponytail and went to work … on my computer. Well shoot, I am not off to a wonderful start with limiting my social media. Oh well, I needed the facts, all of the facts.
Did you know that in 2017, 81 percent of American’s had social media profiles? Worldwide that equates to 1.96 billion, yes BILLION, social media users. I have sources to back this up, see below. That’s a whole lot of people. Facebook is the top social media platform with 1.5 billion accounts, no surprise there!! It is followed by Weixin or WeChat with 900 million accounts. What the what???
Weixin (pronounced “way-shin”) is basically a Chinese Facebook. Users can send messages, share news and pictures. It’s actually a really cool app. It lets users do everything within the app. It’s really cool and is a one stop shop. There’s a digital wallet feature, and in 2014, the app introduced a cab reservation function… Cool, I can call for an Uber and still post a pic of what I am eating and even pay for it without ever leaving the app. No clicking on a link and being taken to same random website. Wonder if the Chinese get those weird little pop-ups saying “You Won, Claim Your Prize.” Sorry, I am getting off topic a little bit.
Back to how much time everyone is online… “On average, global internet users spend some 135 minutes per day surfing social networks.” That equates to 2 hours and 15 minutes a day. Guess the 5 minutes here and there really adds up to almost 16 hours a week. Since people are on social media so much, marketers to use that time and screen space to promote various products and services via social media marketing or social advertising. Ever wonder why that item you were just looking for on Amazon, suddenly showed up as a sponsored ad on your Facebook feed? Hello, big brother marketers are begging you to buy that item. They know you want it. Not that you need it, but you want it.
So why do we gravitate to social media when we are “bored?” Well, it’s simple, social media is giving us what we (the audience) wants. We want connections and a sense of community. We want to know what is going on without having to scroll through a bunch of different apps… hello, Instagram posts to Facebook. Now I can even buy, sell and pay for items through my Facebook app. I don’t need another app for that. I can save my valuable phone (or tablet) memory for all those selfies that I never get around to posting.
You are probably wondering since it’s almost Good Friday, how have I been doing with my social media intervention? I can honestly say that I am not spending 2.25 hours on social media. I may have cut it down to an hour and I no longer look at it first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I have started putting my phone on the charger around 6:30 pm and leaving it there. I was able to get ahead on some classwork last week, and review our tax filings one last time before I submitted them. I actually sleep better too but that is a discussion for another time. Do I miss checking social media? Not as much as I thought I would.
Mahoney, L. Meghan & Tang Tang (2017). Strategic Social Media: From Marketing to Social Change. Wiley Blackwell: West Sussex United Kingdom.
Percentage of U.S. Population with a Social Media Profile from 2008 to 2017. The Statistics Portal. Retrieved 22, March 2018 from https://www.statista.com/statistics/273476/percentage-of-us-population-with-a-social-network-profile/
Social Media – Statistics and Facts. The Statistics Portal. Retrieved 22, March 2018 https://www.statista.com/topics/1164/social-networks/
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