47% of people that use social media sites do so from their mobiles and 4 out of every 10 smartphone users will have a social network application, the most popular being Facebook’s. Studies made of the mobile signal and airtime usage before and after the release of this app shows a huge increase, placing a strain on the network coverage. This in turn can directly effect the cost of delivery from the service operators as well as draining the life of the phone’s battery. During this period Facebook users only increased by 4%, proving it is the features which have intensified the network’s load.
Whilst the cost of data continues to fall, mobile data usage is increasing, so that an average year’s worth of being social in America on sites such as Twitter and Youtube is around $2,480. Even if this is seen as a reasonable cost, there are other drawbacks to increased usage on social media sites. Studies have proved that being distracted by using a mobile phone is worse than cannabis and alcohol whilst driving. Twitter and Facebook updating has been found to be the main cause of many accidents, and as more people subscribe to mobile phones the higher the rise in distracted driving.
Another cause for worry is the emotional cost of being connected. A study has found that turning off phones and avoiding the internet can give users the same type of withdrawal symptoms as drug users experience when going ‘cold turkey’. 46% of women who connect to social media sites admitted to being highly concerned about letting a stalker know where they are whenever they update their status, whilst 41% of all users worry they could be letting potential burglars know when their homes will be empty.
Our infographic contains more information on this controversial subject.