Only 7% believe that social media has a solely positive influence on mental health.
53% have adjusted their privacy settings in the last 12 months.
Just 18% are satisfied with the current policies and restrictions for content on social media sites
The findings of a nationally representative survey recently
carried out by carried out by iReach highlights the ambiguity felt by Irish
people regarding how their social media usage affects them. Only 7% of respondents believe that social
media has a solely positive influence on mental health, with those suggesting
the impact is solely negative far more prevalent on 32%.
Furthermore, in the last 12 months almost 1 in 4 have taken
a break from social media, and additionally 34% of young adults have deleted
social media applications from their phone.
Unsurprisingly, given the number of recent and highly
publicised data breaches at platforms such as Facebook, 53% of those surveyed
have adjusted their privacy settings in the last year.
Nonetheless, Facebook remains the most used social media
platform across all tested demographics with 73% of people active users. WhatsApp
(69%) and YouTube (52%) are the second and third most used after Facebook. Some
platforms have a notably higher number of female than male users, for example
Instagram (41% vs 24%), WhatsApp (74% vs 63%) and Snapchat (24% vs 15%).
Facebook is not only the most used but it also the most
popular form of social media (34%). Interestingly however, Facebook is far less
popular amongst younger adults than older adults, with 25% of 18-34-year old’s
stating it as their preferred platform compared to 47% with over 55s.
42% of respondents believe that there should be greater
restrictions put in place to better regulate what content can be posted on
social media, with a mere 18% who are happy with the policies and restrictions
currently being implemented. Doubts over the content that people see on social
media are further illustrated with 24% who state that social media is a
reliable way to receive news.
Social media users also see the networks themselves as
bearing the main responsibility for what
content is posted on their sites (41%), with the author of the post
itself the next in line for culpability (38%).
Despite the issues already mentioned surrounding privacy and
mental health, 69% of young people would find it difficult to give up social
media, demonstrating how important networking sites are to young Irish adults.
About iReach Insights
iReach Insights provides a range of research and market intelligence services in Ireland and Europe. iReach has built a Consumer Decisions Research Panel of 40,000 members in Ireland, delivering robust research insights. The survey questions were included in the Nationally Representative iReach Consumer Decisions Omnibus run between the 8th November and 14th November and has a 3% Confidence Interval and 95% Confidence Level.