Research independently conducted on behalf of Gather, the social media platform which aims to support discussions between like-minded people, has found that 82% of us do not get much out of social media and that only 14% of us frequently have worthwhile conversations online.
Of the respondents, 84% claim their friend’s lists are made up largely of strangers, with 16% favoring only connecting with real life friends. Despite Social media’s growth towards being ingrained in our society only 12% of those surveyed stated that they have made a connection online that has turned into a real friend.
David Price, CEO of Gather online knows this trend too well…
Social media has become dominated by passive consumption of content- so it’s in fact not very social at all- which is likely why it’s making people unhappier the more they use it
The research suggests that due to the scale of people using social media it is not difficult to find like-minded people online, with 98% stating that they often find users with similar interests. Yet overall only 24% of respondents often discuss their interests while online. Perhaps due to the format of the various platforms, acting on and engaging in discussing these interests can be difficult; with only 14% of people claiming to regularly have a decent conversation on social media, and only 18% of people saying they regularly get a lot out of using social media, in fact, a quarter wish that social media use could be more productive and in line with their interests. Price, comments that…
As social media is always there, and there is no end, the sense of urgency that people feel at a real life event, to engage before it ends, is missing. This is a recipe for procrastination and inertia. For people to get positive outcomes there needs to be a stimulus to engage with each other now, and that’s what we have provided with Gather
Research estimates that the digital generation will spend between 3.5 and 5.5 years on social media in their lifetime, Gather urges people to spend that time connecting and engaging with like-minded people.