I’ve always had this nagging suspicion that those who use social media the most, the much-younger-than-me generation, aren’t all that pleased with the barrage of social media hastags/tweets that come across our TV screens.

Now that feeling has been confirmed. A new study revealed that 44% of those between ages 15-17 find social media comments onscreen distracting with half of all Internet users finding it distracting as well. Forty-eight percent just flat-out don’t like them.

CVTwit-620x350Of course, you could read it the other way – that 56% don’t find them distracting – but that would be missing the point. Social media is considered in some quarters to be the elixir to cure all marketing ills, a relatively inexpensive way to generate interest.

It’s not the be-all that some people think. You create preference by the message of your brand, not an online chat that usually just attracts the extremes: Those who love you and those who hate you.

Social media is something that should be part of your marketing plan, but I would count on it only being useful for awareness, if that. Even for some of those who use it the most, and may represent your greatest opportunity for long-term growth, it’s just distracting, annoying and irrelevant.