LINE App Causes SNS Stress, Say Japanese University Students

LINE is a popular instant messaging application, which allows users to interact by texting, sending pictures, and even by making free voice calls, as well as having other social networking features. While the parent company NHN Corp. is based in South Korea, the app itself was designed by the Japanese subsidiary in response to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.

In Japan, the application has around 45 million users, making it one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the Japanese market. But a recent survey shows that many Japanese students are now experiencing LINE “fatigue”, since one feature of the app is to show a user when their message has been read by its intended recipient, putting them under pressure to reply whether they want to or not.

Japanese netizens commenting on this popular Yahoo! Japan article sympathised with the stress experienced by many LINE users, but some emphasised that there is no obligation to use such apps, and if it makes them unhappy, they ought to stop using it altogether.

From Yahoo! Japan

Almost Half Of Students Report ‘LINE Fatigue’, Pressure From ‘Read Message’ Feature

On June 20, JustSystem Corporation released the results of their recent survey into university students’ use of the popular messaging application, LINE. The survey was carried out through the company’s internet research service, ‘Fastask’, and targeted 750 university students who use LINE on their smart phones.

70% of Students “Feel Bad If I Don’t Reply, Because The ‘Read Message’ Function Means The Other Person Knows If The Message Has Been Read”

According to the survey results, 71.4% of students agree that they felt “bad if I don’t reply to a message because the other people knows if the message has been read,” with JustSystem adding, “Many students feel pressure to continue the conversation because the ‘read message’ function puts pressure on them.”

Furthermore, 45.7% of students responded that “there are times when I feel tired of using LINE” and almost half replied that they had felt “LINE fatigue”. On the other hand, in response to the question of whether they were using the application less as a result of ‘LINE fatigue’, 76.7% of students said that they had not changed their usage habits. JustSystem reported that “Even though they may be tired of [LINE], the fact is they’re still continuing to use the service.”

■ 30% of Students Use LINE For More Than One Hour Every Day

As for the average amount of time spent using LINE daily, “10 to 30 minutes” was the most common answer with 28.5% of students. However, 28.2% of students reported that they used the service for more than one hour every day. 60% of students replied that they used LINE the most between 9pm and 11pm.

The most common number of people students messaged in an average day was “one or two people”, with 39.2% of students. 15.1% reported that they normally chatted with “six or more people”, however there was a tendancy for older students to talk with less people. Overall, 9.5% of students reported that they only chatted with “one particular person”, however for students who were 18 years old this figure fell to just 5.5%, whilst the figure tended to be higher for older students.

86.8% of students reported that they “have never purchased special ‘stamps’”, whilst 12.2% of students had “purchased between 1 and 5 sets of ‘stamps’” and just 1% had “more than 6 sets.” In addition, 29.7% of people reported that LINE was the most used application on their smart phones.

Comments from Twitter:

ともろー (^ω^)へー:

It’s amazing how much influence this has over their mental wellbeing.


I wish they would get rid of the ‘read message’ feature.


I don’t wanna be friends with someone who gets angry because you haven’t replied even though you read the message.

和井内仁彦 未来の子供達へ:

LINE’s ‘read message’ feature.. it’s true.. for me, it reminds me of Facebook’s “Like” feature (T . T)


weaklings  ┐(‘~`;)┌


I guess those high school students who feel pressure to reply to text messages straight away are becoming today’s university students.


This is just a problem of lacking good judgment! If you’re tired of it, just stop.


Well, students certainly have an easy life if this is the kind of thing they worry about. Friends who fall out over stuff like this can’t have been very good friends in the first place.


Why don’t they just stop using it… What are they doing at university anyway? They ought to be studying harder.

しん吉 MHF鯖2 ネテロ:

There’ve been times when I thought LINE would be better without the ‘read message’ function. It definitely makes you feel under pressure to reply w


I don’t have any friends so I don’t get tired of it.


mixi, facebook, LINE – it’s happening again. Aren’t they thinking about it a bit too seriously? The problem is that they’re trying to show off and make themselves look good by sending out all these messages and replies.
How about just being yourselves?


I don’t use LINE but when I hear this kind thing it makes me think maybe it’s better not to use it… Personally, I hated mixi’s ‘ashiato’ (footprint) feature as well ; ;


People sure get tired of things easily.. So many people caring about such trivial things!


If you only read the popup notification then you’ll be ok.


It’s obvious (this would happen.) Any kind of communication where you use your real name will lead to the same thing.


The other day on the train I saw two old guys, dripping with sweat, frantically replying to messages. I felt sorry for them.


Making a mountain out of a mole hill.


As a student myself, I understand this well.


When I’m busy and can’t reply straight away, I always make sure to close the popup notification to avoid the “read message” feature. I guess people really do worry about this.

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