Social Media Addiction & Usage Statistics

In this age, social media addiction emerges as a multifaceted phenomenon. It blurs the lines between connectivity and compulsion. The appeal of getting constant updates and virtual validation shapes our behaviors and impacts our mental well-being. It’s more than just scrolling through feeds; it’s becoming more of a captivating force that can subtly consume our time, attention, and even our mental health. Anyone can be a victim of social media addiction, regardless of age, occupation, or background–it doesn’t discriminate. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The average American spends 2 hours and 14 minutes on social media daily.
  • Weekly, Americans spend 6.3 hours on TikTok, 5.7 hours on YouTube, 4 hours on Instagram and Twitter each, and 3.5 hours on Facebook.
  • 32% of users believe they spend too much time on these platforms.
  • 52% of users aged 22-38 admit to feeling addicted to social media.
  • 54% of teens find it challenging to give up social media.
  • 36% of teens acknowledge spending excessive time on social media.
  • 70% internet users have taken measures to regulate their online time.
  • 67% of adolescents experience a decline in self-esteem due to social media.
  • Children aged 8 to 12 spend an average of 5 hours and 33 minutes daily on screen media, whereas teens dedicate 8 hours and 39 minutes per day to it.
  • Teens spend 1 hour and 46 minutes watching online videos and 2 hours and 10 minutes on social media daily.

General Insights

Using social media has become a part of our daily lives. However, it’s undeniable that it can lead to excessive social media use, which can eventually become an addiction. 

  • Globally, an estimated 4.48 billion individuals engage with social media. This number accounts for 57% of the global population. 
  • In the United States, 95% of teens have smartphone access. About 45% are online almost constantly. 
  • Facebook remains popular in the United States with 69% of U.S. adults engaged on the platform. The social media giant boasts a massive user base of 2.85 billion individuals globally. 
Graph of social media usage in the United States
  • Instagram has about 1.38 billion users globally. Like Facebook, Instagram facilitates interactions through comments and likes on users’ posts. 
  • X (formerly Twitter) boasts a global user base of 397 million individuals. About 23% of U.S. adults actively participate on the platform. 
  • TikTok has rapidly grown to amass 732 million users globally, with a remarkable average monthly increase of 20 million users over two years, driving its widespread popularity
  • A staggering 95% of teens have access to smartphones, and among them, 54% find it challenging to imagine giving up social media. 
Graph of age groups that use social media sites
  • Additionally, a whopping 97% of teens use the internet daily, emphasizing its pervasive presence in their lives. 
  • In the United States, the average person maintains 7.1 social media accounts. This puts the US between India’s high average of 11.5 accounts and Japan’s more modest 3.8. On a global scale, individuals have an average of 8.4 social media accounts.  
  • Among social media users, 39% acknowledge feeling addicted to social media. Only 9% completely agree with the statement “I am addicted to social media.”  
  • 67% percent of adolescents feel a decline in self-esteem due to social media, comparing their lives with the filtered content they see. However, 73% find comfort and support on these platforms during challenging times, reflecting the dual impact of social media on young individuals’ lives.   
  • Among females who got their first smartphone at age 6, 74% had mental well-being scores classified as distressed or struggling. This percentage decreased to 61% for those who received their first smartphone at age 10 and further to 52% for those who got it at age 15. 
  • Even among those who acquired their first smartphone at age 18, 46% were still experiencing mental distress or struggling. This rate is showcasing a high percentage compared to individuals aged 45 and older, where less than 14% experienced similar distress, having grown up before the widespread use of the internet. 
  • About 45% of U.S. online users aged 18 to 22 expressed feeling addicted to social media. Among these people, only 5% strongly identified with the statement “I am addicted to social media.” (Statista)
graph of us social media by age group
  • Approximately 1/3 of users, notably among the 16-24 age group, feel that using social media platforms boosts their self-esteem. However, roughly 24% disagree, and a larger proportion—around 43%—remain neutral or uncertain about its impact on self-perception. 
  • The majority (65%) of social media users felt comfortable with their usage. Only 32% believed they spent too much time on these platforms. 
  • A significant 33% decrease in the risk of depression among senior citizens is associated with their social media engagement. Despite the negative effects of social media, older adults utilizing social media to stay connected or informed often experience more positive outcomes from its use, mitigating the risk of depression. 

The Youth on Social Media Use

Teens and tweens are the most vulnerable to social media addiction. Here are some facts and figures to know about the youth and their social media use.

  • Tweens spend an average of 5 hours and 33 minutes daily on screen media. 
  • Teens’ screen time increased from 7 hours and 22 minutes to 8 hours and 39 minutes from 2019 to 2021. 
  • Teens spend 2 hours and 10 minutes on social media daily.
Graph of entertainment screen use
  • Sixty-one percent of tweens and 62% of teens express a strong fondness for watching online videos. This rate surpasses other activities significantly (television for 48% of tweens and video games for 39% of teens). 
  • Teens spend 1 hour and 46 minutes on online videos daily, slightly more than tweens at 1 hour and 39 minutes.
  • Among teens, 32% would choose YouTube as the platform they couldn’t live without. This is followed by Snapchat at 20%, and TikTok at 13%, reflecting the preferences of 13- to 18-year-olds. 
graph of websites teens would want to live without
  • On average, tweens spend 1 hour and 39 minutes daily on social media. The top five platforms used by tweens include Snapchat (13%), Instagram (10%), Facebook (8%), Discord (5%), and Pinterest (4%). 
  • Only 34% of teens express enjoying social media “a lot.” This is in contrast to the 62% who report the same level of enjoyment for watching online videos. 
  • Over 20 million minors, including 7.5 million under 13, are active on Facebook, showcasing their inclination toward online social interaction. When it comes to digital communication in minors, 71% use Facebook, 52% use Instagram, 41% use Snapchat, and 33% use Twitter for digital communication. 
  • About 63% of 13-year-olds are active on Instagram, with follower counts ranging from 1 to 2,811. Meanwhile, 34% engaged on Twitter, with tweets ranging from 0 to 17,900 and followers from 0 to 1,533. 
  • On average, 13-year-olds post slightly more during the school day, averaging 0.62 posts. This age group showed minimal posting activity in the early night hours, averaging 0.16 posts between 12 – 6 AM, with a range of 0 – 8 posts. 
  • In addition, about 20% of 13-year-olds create multiple posts on weekends. Only 5% do the same during school days. 
  • Thirteen-year-olds check their social media frequently, with over a third checking more than 25 times a day on weekends. The frequency was lower on school days, likely due to restricted device access during school hours. 
Graph with frequency of checking social media
  • About 47% of 13-year-olds experience anxiety when they get disconnected from social media. Only 10% feel relief after being cut off and 43% don’t get affected at all. 
  • YouTube stands as the most prevalent platform among teens, with a staggering 95% of 13 to 17-year-olds acknowledging usage. Following YouTube, about two-thirds of teens (66%) use TikTok, trailed by roughly six-in-ten on Instagram (62%) and Snapchat (59%). Conversely, smaller percentages of teens have used Twitter (23%), Twitch (20%), WhatsApp (17%), Reddit (14%), and Tumblr (5%). 
PlatformPercentage of Teens Using
YouTube95%
TikTok66%
Instagram62%
Snapchat59%
Twitter23%
Twitch20%
WhatsApp17%
Reddit14%
Tumblr5%
  • Among teens, TikTok is more prevalent among Black teens, with 81% using it compared to 71% of Hispanic teens and 62% of White teens. Conversely, Hispanic teens (29%) use WhatsApp more than Black (19%) or White teens (10%), showcasing variations by ethnicity. 
Graph showing the us teen social media use by race
  • Teen girls show higher usage on platforms like TikTok (73% vs. 60%), Instagram (69% vs. 55%), and Snapchat (64% vs. 54%) compared to teen boys. 
  • In contrast, boys exhibit higher usage on platforms like YouTube (97% vs. 92%), Twitch (26% vs. 13%), and Reddit (20% vs. 8%) compared to girls. This highlights gender disparities in social media usage among teens. 
Graph of social app use by gender
  • Among teens, 77% use YouTube daily. This is followed by TikTok with 58% of teens using it daily. 
  • Approximately half of teens use Instagram (50%) or Snapchat (51%) daily, with only 19% reporting daily use of Facebook. 
  • Nearly 19% of teens report almost constant use of YouTube. This is followed by 16% for TikTok and 15% for Snapchat. 
  • Over half of teens (54%) find it challenging to give up social media, expressing that it would be somewhat or very hard. About 46% consider it somewhat or very easy. 
  • Girls (58%) are more likely than boys (49%) to express difficulty in giving up social media. Additionally, older teens aged 15 to 17 (58%) are more prone than younger teens aged 13 to 14 (48%) to find it challenging to relinquish social media. 
  • Among teens, 32% believe social media has predominantly negative effects on people their age. However, only 9% of teens perceive social media to have mostly negative effects on themselves. 
  • About 32% of teens believe social media has had a mostly positive effect on their own lives. On the other hand, around 24% perceive a positive impact on other people their age. 
  • Conversely, the majority of teens state that social media has had neither a positive nor a negative effect on themselves (59%) or on other teens (45%). These observations remain consistent across various demographic groups. 

Rising Above Social Media Addiction

Despite how easy it is to get addicted to social media, people are fighting back. Plenty of individuals are taking steps to reduce the chances of getting addicted to social media use.

Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Self-awareness: Recognize and acknowledge the extent of the addiction and its impact on your life. Keeping a diary of your social media use can help in understanding patterns and triggers.
  2. Set Goals: Define clear, achievable goals for reducing social media use. Start with small changes, like designated no-phone times or apps-free periods during the day.
  3. Use Tools: Take advantage of technology that can help manage your use, such as apps that monitor screen time or block access to social media during certain hours.
  4. Find Alternatives: Engage in activities that don’t involve screens, such as reading, sports, or spending time in nature. This can help reduce the urge to check social media.
  5. Limit Notifications: Turn off non-essential notifications to reduce the constant prompts to check your device.
  6. Digital Detox: Consider taking regular breaks from social media, ranging from a day to a week or more, to lessen dependence and improve mental well-being.
  7. Professional Help: If social media addiction is severely impacting your life, consider seeking help from a psychologist or a professional specializing in addictive behaviors. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the effective treatments for addiction, including social media addiction.
  • Approximately a third of teens (36%) acknowledge spending excessive time on social media, while 55% feel they spend an appropriate amount and only 8% feel they spend too little time. Girls (41%) are more inclined than boys (31%) to feel they spend too much time on social media. 
  • Seven out of ten (70%) internet users have taken measures to regulate their online time. Approximately a quarter of users (25%) allocated dedicated time away from online activities in the past year, while an equal proportion intentionally abstained from using social media apps. 
ActionPercentage
Disabled notifications or used ‘do not disturb’ settings27%
Set aside time for not being online25%
Took a deliberate break from any social media apps25%
Deleted apps due to excessive usage23%
Refrained from taking phones or tablets to bed21%
  • In the age group of 16-24-year-old internet users, approximately 36% deliberately took breaks from social media. Moreover, 32% deleted apps due to excessive usage, and 24% removed apps because of perceived negative impacts on mental health or self-esteem. This reflects a more proactive approach to managing online presence among younger users. 
  • Around 27% of users employed techniques like disabling notifications or using ‘do not disturb’ settings on their devices to manage online well-being. At the same time, approximately 21% of users chose not to take devices such as phones or tablets to bed as another strategy for managing their online presence. 
The Grove Editorial Team is a dynamic group of professionals at The Grove, a leading addiction treatment center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Comprising experienced therapists, medical experts, and dedicated support staff, this team brings a wealth of knowledge and compassionate insight into the complexities of addiction and recovery. Their collective expertise shines through in each article, offering readers valuable guidance, the latest in addiction science, and inspiring stories of healing and transformation. The Grove Editorial Team is committed to educating, supporting, and empowering individuals and families on their journey toward a healthier, substance-free life.

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