Social media is taking over our lives!

Mark Zuckerberg probably had no idea quite what he was unleashing on his US college peers (at Harvard University, no less) when he launched “The facebook” 10 years ago.

What started as a small, student network quickly bloomed into the global social media monster of today, and we Aussies just can’t get enough of it – even, it seems, when we’re sitting on the toilet!

A Canstar Blue survey in 2012 found that 50% of Australians spend three or more hours on the internet every day (and that’s not including work-related browsing). Astonishingly, when we did some calculations taking into account that the average night’s sleep is eight hours, 31 minutes (which is what the Australian Bureau of Statistics says), it meant that the survey’s respondents were spending about a third of their waking hours online!

Further research, undertaken by Sensis for Yellow Pages and released this week, has revealed that 69% of Australians use at least one platform of social media and a whopping 95% of those social media-ites are on Facebook.

When it comes to the proportion of our lives being eaten up by social media generally, the survey threw up some interesting stats. Thirty-one per cent of users think they spend too much time on it, with 42% admitting the first thing they do in the morning is check their social media, and 48% saying it’s the last thing they do at night.

Thanks to the array of mobile digital devices available to us – from laptops to smartphones and everything in between – we can now access our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram wherever we might be, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. While accessing it in the bedroom might not be all that healthy a habit – 48% of men and 49% of women do it – perhaps more disturbing is the 17% of men who admit they go on social networking sites while sat on the toilet! Shame on you bog bloggers!

Only 2% of the survey respondents admitted to checking in to social media while at work (do we really believe that statistic is so low?) and 19% say they use social media more than five times a day.

With many companies and websites having already jumped on board the social media bandwagon, it’s going to be interesting to watch where new technology takes us – and what our limits will be!

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