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The social media issues have been in front and centre for the past months, but is it changing how regular social media users are actually using these platforms? Over half of regular users find themselves using social media a lot less as compared to a year ago.

But, social media has its positives as well. Three-quarters of regular users (76 per cent) say social media is a great way to connect with brands and/or companies.

Social media is also a way to expand a social network. While it can make people feel lonelier, it also creates new “friends”. A majority of regular social media users (51 per cent) say their social network in real life has expanded because of their social media network. Generation Z, Millennials and Generation Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation to say this (60, 63 and 55 per cent vs. 34 and 34 per cent). Interestingly, men are also more likely than women to say social media has increased their real-life social network (58 vs. 46 per cent).

There is also the FOMO issue of social media. And, almost two in five regular social media users (38 per cent) say they want to stop using social media, but are afraid of what they might miss. The Fear Of Missing Out factor is strongest with Generation Z (49 per cent) and Millennials (52 per cent). There is also a parental disconnect. Half of those who have a child in the household (51 per cent) say they want to stop using social media but are afraid of what they might miss compared to three in ten of those without a child in the household (29 per cent).