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Social Media Addiction Statistics: Who Is Addicted And What Are The Consequences?

Since the beginning of social media in 1997, it has become a big part of our lives.

People log in to their favourite social media sites all over the world every day and spend hours on them. Social media has become so popular…

It has become a major addiction for millions of people around the world.

The effects of social media addiction have only just started to be documented thoroughly. These social media addiction statistics will quite literally blow your mind.

Who Uses Social Media?

Can you name a friend or family member that isn’t on any social media platform?

Not likely.

Social media is used by almost everyone. It doesn’t matter your age, where you come from, or your interests – there are social media platforms designed for everyone.

Let’s take a look at social media statistics about usage.

Social Media Worldwide Usage Statistics

56.8% of the world’s total population is active on social media.

This equates to about 4.48 billion people that use social media worldwide. Both of these statistics are looking at eligible audiences aged 13 years and above.

It is estimated that more than half of the children aged 11 and 12 have personal social media profiles even though most social media platforms have a minimum age requirement of 13+ years old.

Social Media Usage By Gender

When it comes to the usage of social media by gender, it differs significantly.

Men and women are more engaged by different social media sites and they use them for different purposes.

Which Gender Uses Social Media More By Platform?

The results of which gender uses which platforms are in:

Female User (%) Male User (%)
Snapchat 60 40
Pinterest 78 22
Instagram 57 43
Facebook 44 56
Twitter 32 68
LinkedIn 49 51
TikTok 59 41
YouTube 45 55


Social media sites that have significantly more female users are:

In the past Facebook has had a higher user base of women compared to men.

More recently women have moved away from Facebook. This has resulted in Facebook having more men on the platform than women.

Men tend to use:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

More than women do. It’s clear that some social media sites tend to be more attractive to different genders.

Which Gender Uses Social Media More By Region?

Regional use of social media has a significant effect on the male and female social media statistics:

Region Female Male
North America 54% 46%
South America 52% 48%
Western Europe 50% 50%
Southern Africa 52% 48%
Southern Asia 27% 73%
Oceania 53% 47%

Southern Asia has the most significant difference between male and female users. Almost 3 out of 4 social media accounts are for men in this region.

In all other regions, females are the biggest users with the exception of Western Europe, where it is even.

Women Tend To Use Social Media More Than Men

Worldwide women tend to use social media more than men. When you break it down by region women dominate all but one of the major regions in the world.

Women also spend more time on social media than men do.

Average time spent on social media per gender

Women spend an average of 2.08 hours a day on social media and men average 1.81 hours a day.

Social Media Usage By Age

Gen Z and Millennials are the biggest social media users of all age groups.

There seems to be a trend that as you get older your social media usage tends to drop. This makes a lot of sense because the younger age groups are the ones that grew up with social media.

This is the breakdown of total users in each age group:

Age Group Percentage (%)
18-29 84%
30-49 81%
50-64 73%
65+ 45%

The drop from the 50-64 age group to 65+ is significant. This may be because people over 65+ never adapted to social media compared to other age groups.

Social Media Usage By Country

The results might surprise you when looking at internet users that are active on social media in each country.

Country Percentage (%)
UAE 99%
South Korea 89.3%
Taiwan 88.1%
Netherlands 88%
Malaysia 86%
Hong Kong 85.6%
Canada 84.9%
Singapore 84.4%
Denmark 83.6%
Sweden 82.1%

These statistics show the share of internet users in selected countries visiting social networking sites as of 2021.

The UAE has a huge number of social media users compared to the rest of the world. 99% of all internet users in the UAE actively use and visit at least one social media website.

social media usage by country

South Korea, Taiwan and the Netherlands are also big social media users.

The big English speaking countries such as the US and England don’t feature in the top 15 countries in the world. Surprising!

How Do People Use Social Media In The World?

Each social media platform brings something unique to the table.

That’s why it’s not uncommon for most people to have multiple social media accounts on different platforms.

What Are The Most Used Social Media Platforms?

Facebook and YouTube are still the most used social media platforms today.

Social Media Network Users (in millions)
Facebook 2,853
YouTube 2,291
WhatsApp 2,000
Instagram 1,386
Facebook Messenger 1,300
Weixin / WeChat 1,242
TikTok 732
QQ 606
Douyin 600
Telegram 550
Sina Weibo 530
Snapchat 514
Kuaishow 481
Pinterest 478
Reddit 430
Twitter 397
Quora 300

Facebook has 2.85 billion active users while YouTube has 2.29 billion active users.

social media statistics on each sites active users

Facebook was the first social media platform to ever pass the 1 billion active user mark.

Ever since its launch, Facebook has been the biggest social media platform when ranked by active user base.

How Much Time Do People Spend On Social Media?

Today the average time spent on social media is 2 hours and 24 minutes today for people aged 16 to 64.

That means the average person spends 144 minutes a day using social media.

When you multiply that out over the month… You find out that the average user spends 72 hours a month just on social media.

This might seem like a reasonable number but what if you calculate how much of your life in total will be spent on social media?

The current global life expectancy in 2021 is about 73 years. If someone signs up for a social media account when they are 16 and lives until they are 73, they will spend a total of 2,995,920 minutes on social media.

That equates to be 5.7 years of your life dedicated to social media!

Average time spent on social media

That is a long time to dedicate to anything, let alone a social media platform. Social media addiction is certainly a real thing and it can easily creep up on you.

How Many Social Media Accounts Does The Average Person Have?

It’s very unlikely you have just 1 social media account.

There are thousands of social media apps and platforms all over the world. They are all constantly fighting for your attention.

The average person has 8-9 social media accounts. This has doubled since 2013, when the average person just had 4-5 accounts.

Year Average Number of Social Media Accounts
2013 4.3
2014 4.8
2015 6.3
2016 7.6
2017 8
2018 8.5

It’s important to know that messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are included in this statistic.

average number of social-media accounts per person

The number also varies significantly depending on the country.

Entertainment Purposes vs Work Purposes

But not all of the time spent on social media is for entertainment.

Social media has become very important for businesses. Most social media platforms make money by selling advertisements to businesses.

Active social media users connect with brands and buy products and services directly through the platforms themselves.

So what are the social media statistics on entertainment vs work?

Social media usages

More Than Half Of Users Are On Social Media For Entertainment

Entertainment is the biggest reason people use social media.

More than 50% of users are on social media purely with the intent of being entertained. The biggest usage reasons are:

  • 1. Connect With Friends & Family
  • 2. Watch Videos
  • 3. Time Killer

So most people are using social media for entertainment and connecting with friends and family daily. But there is still a huge amount of people utilising social media for work.

40% of all internet users worldwide use social media platforms for work-related purposes. This can include:

  • 1. Connecting with customers
  • 2. Advertising products and services
  • 3. Providing updates to fans

Note that out of that 40%, most of them also use social media for personal entertainment reasons as well.

Social Media Addiction Statistics: Who Is Addicted And What Are The Consequences?

Clearly, the average person spends a lot of time on social media.

But how many people have a social media addiction?

Worldwide Social Media Addiction Facts

Over 210 million people worldwide suffer from social media addiction.

If you consider that there are currently 4.48 billion total social media users in the world that works out to be 4.69% of total users who have a social media addiction

social media addicts

In the US alone experts estimate that about 10% of social media users are addicted. This corresponds with the fact that 78% of Americans check and use social media every day.

Social Media Addiction Statistics Amongst Young Adults

Young adults tend to be the most affected by social media addiction. It is significantly higher amongst young single women.

90% of people aged 18-29 use social media in some form.

15% of people aged 23-38 admit that they are addicted to social media. These are the ones that are willing to admit it.

Social media addiction stats

What are the effects of social media addictions?

40.6% of young people complain that their sleep has been significantly affected by social media alone. The biggest reason was that 34% of young adults said that not being on social media caused them to feel like they were missing out on something (aka FOMO).

Lack of sleep has been proven to cause poor mental health amongst young adults.

This can include anything from increased potential for depression to a significant increase in anxiety and low self-esteem.

Social Media Addiction Statistics Amongst Teenagers

Teenagers are the 2nd largest group of people affected by social media addiction.

Teens ages 13 to 18 years old spend a significant amount of their free time on social media with an average of 3 hours a day.

Heavily social media addicted teenagers spend up to 9 hours on social media every day (per 24 hour period).

This works out to be 37% of their total day being spent on social media alone.

Negative Social Media Affect Low Emotional Well-Being (%) High Emotional Well-Being (%)
Sometimes I feel left out or excluded when using social media 70% 29%
Have deleted social media posts because they get too few “likes” 43% 13%
Feel bad about themselves if no one “comments on” or “likes” their posts 43% 11%
Have ever been cyberbullied 35% 5%

43% of young people feel very bad if no one likes their social media posts.

This is a big driver for teens to be using social media constantly and posting things that get engagement.

social media addiction statistics reasons amongst teenagers

It also seems that negative experiences on social media don’t stop teens from using it.

Teenage Social Media Addiction Symptoms

The mental health issues caused by social media addiction is very concerning.

Teens who spend more than 5 hours a day on their phones are 2x more likely to show depressive symptoms. Most social media is consumed on mobile devices, especially amongst teenagers.

social media addiction - teenagers statistics

7 out of 10 teens who use social media for more than 5 hours per day have a significantly greater risk of committing suicide.

Nighttime is actually one of the worst times for teens to be on social media. More often than not they have less parental supervision and are alone on their phones.

Consequences of social media on teenagers

10% of teens check their phones more than 10x per night.

What is most concerning about social media use from teenagers is

Children Are Developing Concerning Social Media Habits

The biggest growth in social media is with young children.

On average children spent 76% longer on social media apps in 2020 than they did in 2019. The more time children spend on social media now the more likely they will be addicted to it in their teenage years.

27% of children who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media display poor mental health. This means that your child has a significantly increased risk of developing mental health issues if they use social media for more than 3 hours per day.

Consequences of social media use on children

Videos seem to be the most engaging thing for children on social media.

The most addictive social media platforms are:

  1. TikTok
  2. YouTube
  3. Facebook

Most addictive social media

These platforms prioritise video content significantly and are very good at working out what content engages the user most so they can simply show more of it.

Want more statistics? Check out Kik user statistics, Zoom user statistics and entrepreneurial statistics.

Wrapping It Up

There you have it for social media addiction statistics.

Social Media Addiction Statistics

It’s mind-blowing to see just how much people actively use social media every day.

Not only this but social media usage is growing – especially amongst younger children and teenagers.

We live in a society where social media is a part of almost every single aspect of our lives.

New platforms like TikTok have continued to create new forms of entertainment to keep us all coming back for more.

While social media does offer a lot of benefits, it can also pose a lot of threats.

If you don’t keep a close eye on how much you use social media, it can easily become a time-consuming addiction in your life.

What are your thoughts?

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