We're hopelessly addicted to social media, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.
According to a new study from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, social media ranks third to last in customer satisfaction among surveyed industries, falling one notch below the notoriously reviled airline industry. Other industries that have higher satisfaction ratings than social media? Hospitals, banks, the U.S. Postal Service, gas stations, and municipal utilities.
According to the survey:
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼While privacy is an issue for some users, particularly for social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, an increase in advertising on social media is the main contributor to user concern.
While the study highlights the struggles that many of the established social networks are experiencing while evolving from venture funded startups to publicly traded, investor-bound companies, the numbers also reveal a universal, but hidden truth: that social networks, much like utilities, are something we use largely out of necessity, not love. It's also likely that customer satisfaction surveys are a popular outlet for users to vent about ubiquitous services they feel pressured to use.
And much like with cable companies or ISPs — the only two industries to rank below social media — the user is somewhat powerless and likely to continue to use the service, mostly because there is no other choice.
Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.
Contact Charlie Warzel at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.