In the biggest-ever experiment carried out into how people use social media, UK bank first direct asked volunteers from across the UK to change their Facebook and Twitter habits for a month.
The research revealed how some Facebook and Twitter users can suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when forced off their networks. Many described extreme feelings of isolation because of the reduced contact with friends or family, while others said they were frustrated at losing their key communication tool. Some users lost contact with friends and family because they had no contact details other than a Facebook address.
The study results - along with highlights from participants' diaries - are revealed in this report, which first direct plans to use to help influence its customer communications strategies.
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