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1.29.2013

Do I Need SNS Rehab? ~ 30+% Probably Need It, But They Say "No, No, No!"


Research firm, NEO Marketing released survey results on 1,000 consumers in their 20s through 40s on how they feel about using Twitter, Facebook, LINE and other SNS services. 
According to the survey, 57.2% of men and 70.8% of women replied that they harbour some dissatisfaction about their SNS.
NEO Marketing: Blue is YES and Red is NO to the question, "Have You Ever Been Unhappy With Your SNS?"  Multiple responses accepted, and n=1,000)
「あなたがSNSを利用して不満に思ったことはありますか?」(複数回答 N=1,000)
Specific reasons for dissatisfaction are:

  • People I never heard of send friend requests
  • I feel tied down to my SNS
  • If anyone responds to my posts, I cannot help looking at it
  • Being on SNS means other people become aware of my digital footprint

By age group, the percentage of people who said they want to take a break from SNS are:
  • 24.5% of women in their 40s vs 22.8% of men
  • 26.5% of women in their 30s vs 28.4% of men
  • 37.9% of women in their 20s vs 38.6% of men

NEO Marketing: Q9. When currently using your SNS, do you feel you want to take a break from it? (Single responses only) Yellow - YES, Blue - Neither, Red - NO; Bottom are women and top are men in the respective age groups
 The article interviewed a psychiatrist in Ginza, who said, "We have some patients who come to us which obviously look like their problems are caused by SNS. It is a new psychological problem called "Social Harassment" that requires attention." He recommends "Social Detox" to prevent serious problems. 
"The survey results show that more younger people are wanting time off from SNS, and 50% have said that they find it a hassle. 
To continue to enjoy using SNS, for example, I recommend that people stop using it before going to sleep and switching off on Sundays and instead, spend the time doing something you really enjoy without worrying about what other people may think about your doing it. "
The following graph maps the responses to the question, "Do you feel it is a hassle to use SNS?"
41.9% said "Somewhat true" while 9.7% said "Very true," thereby indicating that more than 50% feel it is a hassle to a degree. (Green is "neither," purple is "I don't think so," and light blue is "I don't think so.")
NEO Marketing: "Do you feel it is a hassle to use SNS?"
「現在SNSを利用していて面倒に感じるときがありますか?」(単数回答 N=1,000)
In terms of using SNS in the future, 66.5% said they want to maintain their current frequency of use. 
It seems many feel it is a hassle and harbour dissatisfaction, but they feel obliged to continue to use it as a means to stay connected with others.
NEO Marketing: "How do you feel about the frequency of use of SNS in the future?"
From the top: I want to use it more; 
I want to maintain my current frequency of use;
I want to continue to use it but less frequently;
I want to stop using it for a while and then go back; 
I want to stop using it
「今後のSNSの利用に関してあなたのお考えに近いものをお答えください」(単数回答 N=1,000)
### CarpediemJapan Observations and Comments ###

According to the Ministry of General Affair's 2010 JOHOTSUSHINHAKUSHO (White Paper on Information Technology Use), checking email and web sites are still the top objectives for Japanese consumers to go online at the time of the survey (end of 2009). (See diagram below. Left is on PC and Right is on Mobile.)

Though SNS access is showing an increase both for PCs and online, they are 5.8% on PCs and 4.8% on mobiles vs 55.6% and 52.8% accessing the Internet to check emails (excluding the reading of ezines).

Of course, significant increase in the number of smartphones sold in Japan has occurred since the time of the survey, and when looked at by age groups, the 20-somethings have a much higher level of using SNS via mobile phone.

図表4-1-1-10 インターネットの利用目的(複数回答)
According to BCN Ranking, the percentage of smartphones sold out of the total number of phones sold has been steadily increasing from 20.4% in 2011 to 50.7% in 2010 and 72.9% in 2012. In November 2012, it has hit a record 80.9% before slightly declining to 78.6% in December as the simple phones for seniors enjoyed a slight rise that month.

The graph below shoes the trend in the iPhone sale index (1 = the number of units sold in week 3 of September 2012, the week iPhone 5 was launched) in red vs. the smartphone sales index in gray.

BCN Ranking Index Trend from 2012 September week3 
Smartphones are likely to continue to be around 80% of total new mobile phones sold in Japan in the foreseeable future, and SNS use will probably increase.

Given the high level of engagement SNS require, there are obvious generational preferences among SNS with LINE being more popular among people in their 20s (one estimate puts the gender ratio at 60% women), and Facebook appealing more to the older generation. Mixi is still on a slippery slope and working hard to win back users as well as advertising dollars. (LINE is pulling in 350 million yen in one to two months through the sponsored stamps programme alone, stealing much thunder from Mixi and other media.)

References:
My Navi News (contributed articles by NEO Marketing)
脱SNS疲れ!「ソーシャルデトックス」のすすめ | キャリア | マイナビニュース
「SNSに不満」が64%!SNS利用者の本音

Searchina (BCN Ranking):
2012年12月&年間の携帯電話ランキング、iPhoneが圧倒的シェアでトップ

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