The Tech Herald

Social networking beats TV as leading pastime

by Steven Mostyn - Feb 9 2012, 22:00

Hands up if you're currently on a social network. Image: aemde/Flickr.

Always keen to state the bleedin’ obvious over here at Tech Herald Towers, we are absolutely thrilled to ‘inform’ you that a new study has found teenagers would rather engage in Facebook shenanigans than suffer the indignation of Emmerdale.

That’s not strictly true, but the study has indeed discovered that the majority of young folk aged between 16 and 24 much prefer a session of social networking than the watching of regular television.

According to Click Consult, social media interaction is now the leading pastime for the above age group, with 65 percent of those polled admitting it’s their first choice, and many even saying they’d rather converse with friends via Facebook and Twitter than on the phone.

TV watching remains the favored way for 54 percent of 16-24 year olds to soak up spare time, while reading pulls in 44 percent, playing videogames draws 37 percent, and exercise is (unsurprisingly) first choice for just 25 percent of respondents.

And it would appear social networking is becoming a hardened addiction, namely because some of those polled in the survey actually admitted to holding cyber conversations while in court, sex shops, and… wait for it… even on hospital operating tables.

“We’re not saying this is the death of TV, but we envisage seeing more multimedia opportunities being developed in partnership with TV to encourage cyber conversation, especially when you consider the 40% of the younger audience are on social media at the same time as watching TV,” commented Click Consult managing director Matt Bullas.

“We’re already seeing Twitter feeds and hashtags regularly posted onto TV screens of our favourite shows and this will only get more integrated,” he added.

Click Consult also found that dedicated social network usage tends to decline across older age groups, with social media and television-watching percentages split 50/50 for 25-34 year olds, and only 32 percent of those aged over 55 fall to the appeal of online networking.

Click Consult’s research was conducted by Opinion Matter across 1,300 respondents based in the United Kindgom.

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