USA Today Quotes StudyLogic Data

USA Today: “Survey: 60% use social media to ‘call’ home when traveling instead of phone, e-mail…”

Waiting to hear how hubby’s pitch went in London, or if your daughter’s enjoying her first Thanksgiving away from home with her new in-laws?

Don’t bother waiting by the phone or checking e-mail.

A new survey suggests that a whopping 60% of us now use social media – instead of making a call or sending an e-mail – to connect with our family and friends back home when we’re traveling.

The Sheraton-commissioned survey bases its findings on phone interviews with 4,024 people in the U.S., U.K. , and China. Conducted by StudyLogic LLC, the survey reveals some other brow-raising stats that back up what we already know – that social media is a driving force in many of our lives – even when we’re busy traveling.

Other findings:

  • Even when there’s happy news to share with friends and loved ones back home, 36% say they’d rather log in than make a phone call to spread the word.
  • 77% say they access social media sites such as Facebook throughout the day, with 33% saying they log in multiple times each hour.
  • 39% say they “could not live without” social media sites.
  • When traveling, 20% of respondents say they still manage to check social media sites multiple times throughout the day.
  • When it comes to planning trips, 64% said they use social media to make their plans; within the 25-34-year-old age group, however, the figure’s 76%.

Sheraton’s survey coincides with the just-completed roll-out of a newly created social media hub in all of its hotel lobbies.

Today, all 400 Sheraton hotels contain a Microsoft-powered “Link@Sheraton” area that was one of the key features of Sheraton’s $6 billion, global revamp. The lobby lounge area is designed as a social media hub, with a cafe, televisions and – get this! – daily newspapers. The area also contains computer stations where you can check e-mail or print a boarding pass.

(Yes, much to many road warriors’ dismay, guests still must pay for Internet in their rooms, unless you’re an elite-level platinum member of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program.)

Sheraton, by the way, says that more than 50% of its guests use the Link@Sheraton during their hotel stay.

What’s the No. 1 most-visited site at the Link?