Are we feeling social media malaise?

Furthermore, she herself found it frustrating there was no referential data. We'll have to wait until the next report to figure out whether the social network malaise is something embryonic, or otherwise.

The business cost

Whether or not people's enjoyment of social media is waning, the cost of workers procrastinating on such services is still significant. Indeed, for companies, the significant cost of employees using social sites would indicate there is no fatigue in sight.

Even small businesses are feeling the pain of Facebook addiction. Figures from email security company SpamTitan Technologies released today showed the average company with 52 employees pays out $65,000 (40,000) per year for non-work related social media use.

A report in 2010 claimed social network use was costing the UK economy 14 billion in lost work time.

"In the past companies just had to consider personal use of telephone and subsequently email, now they have a minefield of Internet related access points to consider," said Ronan Kavanagh, SpamTitan Technologies chief executive (CEO).

"With companies now using social media to market to customers it is important that social media access is flexibly managed as roles require it."

Given social media is proving to be such an expensive beast, businesses might be hoping user fatigue really does settle in. If it doesn't, companies will have to find a way to curb the costs Facebook, Twitter et al bring with them.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.