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Social media addiction is a growing phenomenon not only in the United States but worldwide. The average person spends nearly 2 hours a day using social media, which amounts to 5 years and 4 months of his/her lifetime. In that time a person could run more than 10,000 marathons or travel to the moon and back on 32 separate occasions. For teens, social media time spent could be up to 9 hours every day.
While social media offers unprecedented access and connectability, some are concerned that social media overuse is inhibiting users everywhere and affecting them in adverse ways. We’ve compiled the top social media addiction statistics to offer a better understanding of the evolving relationship between consumers and the social platforms they use to connect.
While social media helps keep the world connected, social media addiction is becoming a global problem that keeps growing. As of 2018, 3.1 billion people — roughly one-third of the global population — use social media. Globally, the number of social media users has grown by 13% (362 million) in the past year.
Increasingly, social media is also accessed on the go. Of the world’s social media users, 2.9 billion are active mobile social media users (94% of all users on social media platforms).
Internet and social media addictions continue to grow as our dependence on technology increases. Estimates posit that over 210 million people suffer from internet and social media addictions worldwide.
The accessibility of mobile technology and social media hasn’t been without consequences. A 2018 study found that teens who spend 5 hours per day using their phones were almost twice as likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than counterparts who dedicated only 1 hour on their phones.
Interestingly, the relationship between excessive mobile use and depression appears to be strongly linked to gender, with 58% more females than males experiencing depressive symptoms.
A recent study containing over 23,500 participants between the ages of 16 and 88 found that being a young, single female was most strongly associated with displaying addictive social media behavior. Addictive social media behavior was also strongly related to narcissistic personality traits and low self-esteem.
Social media addiction doesn’t just affect behavior during the day; it even damages people’s ability to sleep. A study found that 71% of Americans sleep with or next to a mobile device.
Some 47 million people in America do not get enough sleep and 55% more teens were sleep deprived in 2015 than in 1991. Exposure to screens before bed is a large factor in exacerbating sleep disorders. 35% of people using phones less than average experienced sleep difficulty compared to 42% of those with average or above average phone usage.
If prolonged exposure to screens wasn’t bad enough for people’s sleep, social media addictions are making it even harder for people to get a good night’s sleep. 45% of people check social media instead of sleeping, and roughly 10% of teens check their phones more than 10 times per night.
90% of drivers admit to using smartphones behind the wheel. Of those respondents, 50% reportedly use their smartphones to check social media. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each day, 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured as a result of smartphone use while driving. AT&T’s recent It Can Wait campaign reported that 90% of drivers admit to using smartphones behind the wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are the largest age group reported for distracted driving. So far, almost 25 million Americans have signed the pledge to drive distraction free.
The majority of Americans use Facebook and most users check the app daily. 68% of Americans have an account, and 74% of those users report checking the app at least once a day — 51% report checking Facebook several times daily.