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Are Young Adults Growing Tired of Constant Social Connectivity?

Many are rethinking social media habits

Despite popular assumptions that young adults are social media-obsessed, new data suggests that many have considered a temporary—and even permanent—reprieve from their newsfeeds.

In a December 2017 Hill Holliday survey, conducted by in-house research division Origin, more than half of young adults ages 18 to 24 said they're "seeking relief from social media."

And some have deleted their social accounts entirely. In fact, 34% of young adults surveyed said they'd done so.

But others didn't take such drastic measures.

Roughly two-thirds of young adult social media users said they'd taken a break from social platforms. Meaning that while they didn't delete their account, they did stop using it for a while and eventually returned.

In a culture hooked on “doing it for the 'likes,'” what's motivating this kind of behavior among social media natives?

The reasons certainly vary. For many, it's worries about wasting time, while others think there's a lot of negativity on social platforms.

Disinterest in content and platform commercialization were also cited as motivations for quitting social media.

Facebook, for example, checks many boxes named by young adults as reasons to take a social sabbatical. Many users said they were dissatisfied with the social media giant because of negative interactions with other users, irrelevant content due to News Feed updates and a sense that the platform is inundated with promotional ad space.

And it wasn't just Facebook. Young adults were more likely to take a break from or delete their Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter accounts than their Tinder, Pinterest or LinkedIn ones.

The Hill Holliday survey is just one study on sentiments toward social media: Not everyone is thinking about quitting social altogether.

eMarketer projects that 2.65 billion individuals worldwide—more than 72% of internet users—will use social media at least once per month in 2018.

And Facebook will remain the most popular social network. Some 62.9% of social network users across the globe will access Facebook at least monthly this year, eMarketer estimates.