Social media is making lives worse and causing distraction from more important things, according to a Chinese report. The Kantar China Social Media Impact Report showed that the number of people who said that social media had a negative impact on their lives had doubled compared to last year.
The report comes as a surprise, as China is known for being one of the largest online markets, with internet usage increasing over the past few years. It showed that the percentage of people who felt positively towards social media had dropped by 12.1% percentage points to 64.7% in just a year.
One of the activities that people believe social media is distracting them from is reading. The report also listed a number of other reasons for why social media has decreased in popularity with Chinese people, including disruption of privacy, sleep deprivation and other health problems.
Sophie Shen, who led the study, said that social media has lost its appeal due to over-familiarity:
“As social media becomes less new, it’s no longer the cool thing to do and loses part of its charm in certain groups,” she said.
“More profoundly, social media has penetrated into the lives of Chinese people and they now realise they are spending too much time on it.”
“At the same time, they are receiving more low-quality and duplicate content.”
However, the study was not all negative; it also noted that some social media users agreed that using social-networking websites can help to relieve the pressures of everyday life. Other users reported that social media has helped them to expand social circles and can make life more convenient and efficient.
The survey, which was led by CTR Media and Consumption Behaviour, comes after a Chinese official declared the internet economy a growth engine for China’s economy at a Lunar New Year reception earlier this year.
As of 2014, China had almost 650 million internet users and more than 400 million websites worldwide. CTR Media and Consumption Behaviour’s report showed that China had a higher rate of younger social media users than other countries.
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