The age of antisocial media is upon us. A recent online survey, conducted by YouGov, revealed that 30% of UK holidaymakers who use a portable multimedia device update their Facebook status when on holiday, while 26% check their social feeds and 8% tweet (of those holidaymakers updating Facebook, women are busiest: 35% compared to 25% of men).

iPad as a Travel Gear
iPad as a Travel Gear

Even more startlingly, 48% of the holidaymaking technology generation (those aged 16-24) use their devices to update their Facebook status when on holiday, while 43% check social feeds and 19% tweet. These figures underline the notion that we are quite literally incapable of switching off from social media, as we become increasingly interconnected.

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The iPad 2 launched last Friday (11th March); will this increase the trend in antisocial media whilst on holiday?

The survey revealed that only 2% of people currently use an iPad in the UK, which is surprising given the hype surrounding the product’s launch.

Given that the iPad is a portable multimedia device, its usage whilst on holiday is expected to increase as it gives the user the capability to stay connected and be entertained whilst away from home. This increase is most likely to affect the way full time workers interact with their devices whilst on holiday.

Full time workers have many uses for their devices whilst on holiday, but use such devices mainly for emails (61%). The antisocial media trend is also highlighted -this group is not just working on holiday, they are also connecting socially with their devices. 28% of full time workers say their device usage, whilst on holiday, is geared towards checking their social feeds (Twitter, Facebook newsfeeds etc.) with a further 32% using their devices on holiday to update their Facebook status. This begs the question; do we ever really switch off on holiday? The iPad would provide the perfect platform for workers to regularly satisfy their social, working and entertainment needs (watching movies, playing games etc.) whilst on holiday.

The trend of antisocial media becomes clearer when studied across a wider range of devices. The percentages of smartphone users who keep using their device while on holiday are as follows:

– 88% Apple iPhone
– 79% Android
– 85% Blackberry
– 86% Symbian phone (Nokia)

James Street, co-founder commented: “My dream holiday is one without my phone, laptop and iPad so I can completely switch off, relax and enjoy myself. Unfortunately it remains a dream. There’s nothing more antisocial than only having someone’s partial attention while they check their feeds and update their status.”
In addition, the overall usage figures across all devices being used while on holiday (tablets, smartphones, laptops, desktop computers and e-book readers) are as follows:

Activity Percentage

Emails 61%
Calls 37%
SMS 39%
Checking Social Feeds (e.g. Twitter,
Facebook Newsfeeds) 26%
News Subscription 5%
Reading books 18%
Watching films 12%
Listening to music 31%
Reading blogs 6%
Playing games 25%
Updating my blog(s) 3%
Facebook Status Updates 30%
Twitter Tweets 8%
Photo Sharing 15%
Checking In (Facebook places,
foursquare) 14%
Localization (maps, local info,
languages) 27%

These figures show that social media has very much become a part of the modern holiday experience, and with the new iPad 2 which became available to the public last Friday, it will be easier than ever for holidaymakers to stay connected wherever in the world they are. Whether this is cause for gladness or sadness is a debate that is only likely to intensify for years to come.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2205 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th – 9th March 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 16+)



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