Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Facebook or Sense of Smell...Should This Even Be an Option?

How much to do you value your Facebook profile? The answer to that question varies of course, but it just seems that some people are completely obsessed with the social networking site. How much would those people be willing to sacrifice for secure, guaranteed access to the site? A recent study shows that some people would go to extreme lengths to keep this access.

A study conducted by McCann Worldgroup discovered that 53 percent of “young people,” individuals ranging from the ages of 16-22 years old, would much rather sacrifice their sense of smell than give up social networks. The study stated, “For this generation, technology is not an add-on. It is a tool that enables them to sense the world and make sense of the world.”

The researchers polled 7,000 different people between the ages of 16 and 30, and this group of researched individuals didn’t just come from the U.S. McCann Worldgroup polled people from the U.K., Spain, China, Brazil, India, Mexico and several other countries as well.

The biggest thing that they discovered while conducting the research is that without social networking technology, a majority of the people polled seemed to think that they would feel isolated and “out of the loop.” Global IQ director at McCann Worldgroup Laura Simpson said, "Technology is the great global unifier. It is the glue that binds this generation together and fuels the motivations that define them. Young people utilize technology as a kind of supersense which connects them to infinite knowledge, friends, and entertainment opportunities."

Another thing that the study found was that the younger the individual, the more that the person seemed to care about the connections that they had versus the experiences. This current generation simply maintains friendships in a very different way than their parents do. The research found that the average, everyday teenager is "likely to manage and maintain multiple, intersecting groups of friends” through social media instead of focusing on a single, smaller core group of friends. Researchers were told by 47 percent of the participants that they want their friends and family to remember them for their connections.

"This is the 'strategic generation' who effortlessly manages different identities, evaluates the usefulness of specific connections, and occasionally strips back those who no longer make the grade," the survey said.

Currently, there are more than 500 million Facebook profiles. The sheer vastness of this number, in conjunction with the McCann research, seems to suggest that a good portion of people really do care about their activity on the site. Thank goodness they won’t be choosing between their sense of smell and access to the site since we would end up having 53 percent of our population between the ages of 16 and 22 without their sense of smell. That’s insane to me that someone would care about a social networking site so much. I mean, it’s just Facebook…but I guess that is not all it is to some people.

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