We’ve all seen the over-hyped social media growth statistics that are peppered with charts, graphs and every quote from self-proclaimed social media gurus about the overwhelming climb of social networks in society. Arrows pointing up on charts and advertisers names plastered on sponsorship ads from some of the biggest of those networks like Facebook and twitter. But now we have some new statistics that are changing the outlook for 2013 and beyond. So hold on to your pants social media evangelists, because if you can’t raise the energy to tweet or feel like Facebook is yesterday’s news and you’re already bored with Pinterest, well you just might have a case of social media fatigue. This surprisingly now common syndrome has lead to a staggering drop in social network activity from its users and is predicted by Gardner to account for as much as a 24% drop in all activity in 2013. Survey Data
The three biggest reasons which are emerging are concerns over privacy, a general sense of boredom and a social awakening to our poor state of health. It’s possible to fix some of the privacy-related concerns, though it is something of a moving target. I think everyone feels a sense that Facebook can’t be depended on to protect our personal information and will sell us out to make a buck. We are its greatest asset, but what Facebook does with us and our identities online is entirely beyond our control. Of 6000 randomly interviewed users 60% said they find it boring to see constant senseless or duplicated status updates. Boredom, though, is less easily solved — and with social media networks being generally free services, walking away is the most obvious response. To fix health, unplugging is sometimes the only option to repair psychological wellbeing and overall health.
Darkening the social outlook for the next few years, Gartner says the 37% growth over the last two years has been largely users between the ages of 11-17, users who for the most part, are not spending money or clicking ads. To make matters worse, social media networks have failed to develop profitable ad revenue outlets for major advertisers, leading to huge revenue dollars being pulled by advertisers who are realizing that the hype of social media hasn’t lead to increased revenue, and the increasing encroachment of brands into networks like Facebook and Twitter by corporations has lead to a general turn-off or brand distain. Over 140 companies have pulled their advertising in 2012 alone, including the highly publicized GM ad pullout this spring. Included in all of this advertising mess is the fact advertisers don’t trust the now scandalous Facebook, as it has been proven to be artificially driving up traffic via click bots and charging advertisers for the revenue of the clicks. Dark times indeed. Read the story Here
Surprising though, society as a whole in the last few years has started to become more health conscience due largely to a huge push through traditional media outlets by health advocates and partners, prompting more and more companies (and families) to adopt “down time” policies where employees (or family members) are expected to unplug, unwind and rest. Society has come to the realization that hours of sitting playing gaming counsels, browsing the internet, constantly checking emails and updating social statuses has affected the overall health, motivation and lead to loss of productivity in the corporate sector by their employees. Time – Business Story
We’re starting to see another major paradigm shift as an entire society wakes up from from a social internet/media consumption addiction. People are realizing that actually physically talking, or meeting with people, or just going outside is a better alternative to the chains of the social status update. Society is learning that getting unplugged has only good consequences for their psychological wellbeing, health and privacy. This in itself seems to be the best way to beat the boredom of social media fatigue as 2013 and beyond approaches and we watch with interest the fate of declining social media interests.