A new study by Nielsen suggests that social media junkies spend more of their day emailing than those who don't partake in social networking. This is interesting, because many see modern social networking services as an alternative to the aging email protocol.

In looking at how social networks affect the activities of Web-goers, Nielsen tested its assumption that "consumption of social media decreases email use." The outfit set up four test groups based on the amount of time they spend engaging social media. Three groups were labeled low, medium, and high consumers of social media, with the fourth group being those who didn't use social sites.

After evaluating the results, the research firm found its theory to be inaccurate, "it actually appears that social media use makes people consume email more, not less, as we had originally assumed -- particularly for the highest social media users." Researchers suggested this might be because social media sites often send email notifications on almost every activity.

Researchers also believe that connections made through social networks often extend to email, phone conversations, and even in-person meetings. Nielsen is planning to take a deeper look into the correlations between platforms. This study comes after the firm's recent findings that social networks and blogs are more popular than email.