Social media fatigue hits India

20 January 2012

NEW DELHI: More than half of young urban consumers in India are cutting back on the amount of time they spend using social media, according to a new study.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the trade body, surveyed 2,000 people in the 12-25 year old demographic, and living in major cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Chennai.

Overall 55% of contributors had "consciously reduced" the time they afforded these platforms and were currently less "active and enthusiastic" than upon joining.

"Although social networking is the most popular online activity, youngsters have started finding social media boring, confusing, frustrating and time-consuming," the analysis said.

Almost 30% of respondents had actually deactivated or deleted an account or profile, and many others raised issues concerning privacy.

One possible factor behind this trend was the sheer number of sites available, mainly including Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Orkut, LinkedIn, MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and BigAdda.

Three-quarters of ASSOCHAM's sample had signed up to nearly all of these services when they launched, but either "barely used them" any more or now frequented a single site.

"Tech overload is apparent among youth and their fixation with social media seems to be eroding as they have started focusing on more important things than grooming their digital identities," D S Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM, said.

Elsewhere, the research revealed that 25% of interviewees had increased the amount of time they committed to such sites.

It added that a 65% majority of this group were female users, most of which tended to visit social platforms on a daily basis.

Equally, however, 20% of participants rarely log on to social networks, and instead prefer keeping up with their friends via chat services like BlackBerry Messenger, Watsapp and Google Talk, be it on a mobile or PC.

Looking at the 200 people surveyed in Delhi, 60% agreed they had become "bored" of at least some aspects of social media, whereas 30% now spent more time than ever using these sites.

Data sourced from ASSOCHAM; additional content by Warc staff