Negative Feelings Toward Social Media in China

Published on Author heardd16

As China’s economy continues to grow and a growing portion of the population gains access to the internet, social media usage also increases.  However, according to statistics from The Kantar China Social Media Impact Report, a growing proportion of the Chinese populations reports that social media actually makes their lives worse.  Positive attitudes toward social media have dropped 12.1 percentage points in the past year to 64.7 percent who feel positively about social media.  This change is noteworthy considering China is the world’s largest and fastest growing online market.


Reasons cited for these increasingly negative outlooks on social media include the time it takes away from reading books, disturbing of people’s privacy, and negative health implications from sleep deprivation.  Users cite the most positive effect of social media as relieving the stress of reality, which some may argue is a negative implication on society as a whole.

6 Responses to Negative Feelings Toward Social Media in China

  1. Interesting point in the last sentence, Denman. This exactly what I’ve been saying to my family and friends for the past five years. Social media, whether in the US or China, can’t be THAT good for a society. Before we know, people will hardly be able to interact face-to-face. Think of the children!

  2. There’s lots of gallows humor about the potential negative side of social media. I know only one empirical study (not an interest … except that I am trying to wean myself from checking non-work email until the end of the day). That was a study of restaurant productivity, which found that in “nice” restaurants patrons took more time to order, more time to eat and more time to leave because they’d check their cell phones before looking at the menu, take photos of everything before beginning to eat, repeatedly pause to text in the midst of a meal, and then would glue themselves to their phones before leaving (hopefully as an alternative to driving while texting). To make matters worse, patrons were more likely to ask staff to repeat options, and would interrupt staff at each step to take pictures. So turnover and restaurant revenue suffered.

  3. Moreover, the fact that social media is not as widespread in China as in the US, which could be a factor contributing to these negative attitudes. That is, social media is not as enjoyable or effective if less people participate. Imagine if only a couple of your friends had, for example, a Facebook account.

  4. There are some upsides to social media. In an authoritarian government, social media also serves as a medium to express social unrest. People will always feel “guilty” about the time they spend on social media outlets. This is not specific to China. But this does not mean that Chinese users will be signing off any time soon.

  5. This definitely seems to be a trend worldwide. People are now looking deeper into perhaps the fastest and most popular “pastime” in history. Many have found that it does indeed increase loneliness, jealousy, and isolation especially in younger users. I wonder if even more online Chinese censorship will be coming down the road.

  6. Despite the fact that many people like to criticize social media and see it as a negative factor in our lives, in the end many of them end up using it just as much as anybody else. This is because social media gives us a unique opportunity to digitize our social lives, allowing us to constantly socialize with other people, even when we’re not in the same place as they are.