According to a new survey, the majority of Germans feel too dependent on social media. In a representative online survey commissioned by British American Tobacco’s BAT Foundation for Future Issues, 55 percent of those questioned supported the statement: “In my free time, I depend more on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) than I would like. ” 75 percent of those aged 18 to 34 agreed, compared to only 32 percent of those over 55.
Full attention of fellow human beings desired
When shopping or in restaurants, 57 percent of all respondents would like areas without smartphones and the Internet in order to have the full attention of those around them or not to be distracted themselves. However, among younger people between the ages of 18 and 24 and among singles up to the age of 49, only just under half of those surveyed – namely 49 percent – are enthusiastic about offline zones. In the 65+ generation, the idea is welcomed by two thirds (66 percent).
“Likes, comments and reactions to one’s own postings act like a reward,” explained the scientific director of the foundation, Prof. Ulrich Reinhardt. Many are willing to prepare and beautify their own lives on social media accordingly. “That not only costs time and nerves, but also often leads to stress and dissatisfaction,” said Reinhardt. Many people longed to have the full attention of their fellow human beings and not to be constantly distracted. In the USA, England and Australia there are discounts in some bars if guests do not use their cell phones. Reinhardt can also imagine such offers in Germany.
For the study, 2000 representatively selected people aged 18 and over were interviewed from April 1 to 12, 2022. GfK Nürnberg conducted the survey using online interviews (CAWI). The questions were: “Do you agree with the statement: ‘In my free time I depend more on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) than I would like’?”; “Would you like to have public areas without smartphones and internet (e.g. when shopping or in restaurants) so that you have the full attention of others and are not constantly distracted yourself?”
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