Pure Telecom, Ireland’s high-speed broadband and telecoms provider, today announces the results of its inaugural Connected Lives survey, which shows that almost one-third (32%) of adults in Ireland have a fake social media account. Pure Telecom’s research also revealed the most common social media faux pas committed by users.
The nationally representative survey of 1,004 adults in Ireland was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Pure Telecom. It delved into the population’s use of social media and the widespread use of ‘fake’ social media accounts, whereby users don’t use their real name. The research found that 44% of men admit to having a fake account, compared to 28% of women. Half of adults aged 26 and under confessed to having a fake account.
Of those who have a bogus account, 25% said they use it to view people’s posts and accounts anonymously, while 19% said it enables them to hide their identity while engaging in controversial discussions online. The same proportion have a fake account so that they can stay under the radar of potential and current employers, clients or colleagues.
Pure Telecom’s survey found that the average adult in Ireland has 4.4 social media accounts. Juggling an average of 5.6 social media accounts each, Gen Z (adults aged 26 and under) have the largest number of social media accounts. This is followed by Millennials (ages 27-42) with 4.1; Gen X (ages 43 to 58) with 3.4; and Baby Boomers (ages 59 to 77) with 2.3 accounts. The research found that 23% of adults have opened at least one social media account in the last 12 months, while 15% have deleted an account.
With many social media platforms at their fingertips, through which they can connect with people anywhere in the world, Pure Telecom’s research found that 39% of adults have people who they consider to be friends, but with whom they have only ever interacted digitally. This rises to 53% for Gen Z and continues to decline throughout the generations: Millennials (36%), Gen X (26%) and Baby Boomers (23%).
Pure Telecom’s research also explored the most common social media blunders. These were found to be:
- Scrolling through a person’s feed and liking a post from a long time ago (34%)
- Sending an embarrassing message to the wrong person or group (22%)
- Accidentally commenting on the wrong post or image (18%)
- Accidentally sharing a post or image that was intended solely for the eyes of close friends or family (15%)
- Posting publicly thinking it was private (13%)
- Accidentally liking an ex’s post, or following/requesting to connect with them (10%)
- Accidentally liking an ex’s partner’s post, or following/requesting to connect with them (9%)
Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom, said: “Social media continues to be an integral tool for people to connect with one another. It has become such a part of our everyday lives that our definition of friendships has changed. Now, as the power of connection allows people to meet and keep in touch from all over the world, a significant proportion of us are enjoying friendships that are entirely online.
“Many of us will probably find some comfort in our research, as it shows us that there are people just like us out there who have committed social media ‘no-nos’ in the past. With the online world playing such a significant role in our lives, these blunders can leave us seriously red-faced.
“At Pure Telecom, we are proud to be at the heart of people’s connected lives. We encourage all social media users to enjoy the personal connections that the platforms enable, while always using them kindly and responsibly.”