44 Eye-Opening Social Media Addiction Statistics

In recent years, social media has become as addictive as it is pervasive. As many as 210 million – or more – people around the world may suffer from internet addiction. And that number is only likely to go up as social media apps get better at better at engaging users.

For more information, we’ve put together these social media addiction and mental health statistics.

Social Media Addiction Statistics

1. Up to 10% of Americans May Suffer from Social Media Addiction

Psychologists estimate that 5-10% of Americans may meet the criteria for social media addiction. That means as many as 30 million Americans may be addicted to social media apps such as Facebook and TikTok. The criteria in question include symptoms associated with addictive behavior, such as obsessive, compulsive, or excessive use.

[Source: Addiction Center]

2. 210 Million People Worldwide May Suffer from Internet and Social Media Addiction

While exact figures aren’t clear, experts estimate that about 210 million people worldwide likely suffer from internet or social media addiction.

[Source: Science Direct]

3. People Who Visit Social Media Sites Multiple Times a Day Are 3x More Likely to Feel Isolated or Depressed

When compared to social media users who head to the platforms less than nine times per week, those who checked the platforms 58 or more times per week were three times as likely to feel socially isolated or depressed.

[Source: Addiction Center]

4. Smartphone Owners Spend 4.2 Hours Each Day Using Apps

On average, smartphone users spend 4.2 hours per day using smartphone apps. If you sleep for eight hours, that means you would spend a full quarter of your waking life on your smartphone.

[Source: Tech Crunch]

5. Web Users Spend an Average of 2.3+ Hours Per Day on Social Media and Messaging

On average, web users spend 2 hours and 23 minutes per day using social media platforms and messaging. People age 16 to 24 have the highest usage rate, coming in just shy of three hours.

[Source: Global Web Index]

6. More Than Half of Cell Phone Users Feel Anxious If Their Device Isn’t Nearby

Another potential sign of addiction, about 53% of mobile phone users feel a level of anxiety if their phone isn’t close at hand.

[Source: Nielsen]

7. 45% of 18-to-22-year-olds Are ‘Somewhat’ or ‘Completely’ Addicted to Social Media

Among American adults, 18-to-22-year-olds are #1 in terms of social media addiction, with 45% in that age bracket reporting they were somewhat or completely addicted. Older Americans were least likely to be addicted, with only 22% of respondents north of 55 years describing themselves as somewhat or completely addicted.

[Source: Statista]

8. 35% of Millennial Social Media Users Experience Symptoms of Withdrawal When Offline

When surveyed, 35% of millennial social media users said they sometimes or often experienced symptoms of withdrawal, such as stress or paranoia, when away from social media. Many of these users have tried to cut back and failed: per this study, 59% were unable to cut back as much as they would like.

[Source: Cabral, 2008]

9. 59% of Millennial Social Media Users Say They Are Addicted

In a survey of millennial social media users, 59% of respondents self-reported that they were addicted to social media. Of everyone surveyed, 92% said they spent more time on social media than they intended, 80% said they often checked social media before doing something else they needed to do.

[Source: Cabral, 2008]

10. People Today Spend 3x as Much Time on Social Media as They Do Socializing in the Physical World

The metaverse is already here: the average person today spends far more time on social media than they do interacting with people in the so-called “real world”. In terms of hours spent, however, social media still takes second place to television.

[Source: Mediakix]

11. 46% of Americans Check Their Phone Before Getting Out of Bed

For many Americans, checking a smartphone is the very first thing they do before getting up. 46% of those surveyed – and 66% of younger millennials –  check their phones while in bed in the morning. And that’s not even counting the 9% of those surveyed that kept a tab on their smartphone throughout the night. All told, 83% of Americans check their smartphones before they’ve finished breakfast.

[Source: ReportLinker]

For more interesting statistics, see our article on Cell Phone Usage Statistics.

Teen Social Media Addiction and Mental Health Statistics

12. Half of All Teens Say They Suffer from Smartphone Addiction

While they haven’t received formal diagnoses, 50% of teens claim they “feel addicted” to their smartphones.

[Source: Fortune]

13. Teens Who Spend 5 Hours on Their Phone Per Day Are Nearly Twice as Likely to Have Depression Symptoms

Among teens, those that spend 5 hours per day on their smartphone, on average, are almost twice as likely to have depression symptoms when compared to peers who use their devices less.

[Source: APA PsycNet]

14. 27% of Children Who Spend 3+ Hours Per Day on Social Media Exhibit Signs of Poor Mental Health

When it comes to social media use specifically, 27% of children who spend a minimum of 3 hours per day using social media have symptoms associated with poor mental health.

[Source: Addiction Center]

15. 45% of Teens Check Their Device After Going to Bed

Overall, around 45% of teenagers check their smartphones after going to bed. And social media is the #1 thing keeping them up at night: 94% of these teens are using social media apps after bedtime.

[Source: HMC]

16. 45% of Teens Are Online “Almost Constantly”

According to Pew Research, 45% of teenagers reported they were online ‘almost constantly’. That number is rising quickly: it nearly doubled in three years, from 24% in 2015 to 45% in 2018.

[Source: Pew Research, 2018]

17. Teen Girls Spend 40 More Minutes on Social Media Per Day Than Teen Boys

While both male and female teens use social media, teenage girls average 40 more minutes per day when compared to teenage boys.

[Source: CNN]

18. 72% of 16 to 24-Year-Olds Use Social Media While Watching Television

Among the 16 to 24-year-old set, 72% use social media simultaneously while they are watching television.

[Source: Global Web Index]

19. 45% of Teens Feel Overwhelmed by Drama on Social Media

When it comes to drama, 45% of teens feel overwhelmed by the amount of it they encounter on social media. Additionally, 13 percent say they feel overwhelmed by the drama “a lot.” “Too much drama” is even the #1 reasons teenagers give for unfriending someone. In 52% of cases, bullying – either personally being bullied or witnessing the person bullying others – was a factor.

[Source: Pew Research Center]

20. 43% of Teens Feel Pressure to Only Post Content That Makes Them Look Good

When it comes to why teens post content, 43% feel pressure to only create posts that make them look good in the eyes of others. Thirty-seven percent also feel pressure to limit themselves to sharing content that will get a lot of positive attention, such as likes or comments.

[Source: Pew Research Center]

21. Half of American Kids Are on Social Media by Age 12

Per CNN, half of kids these days are on one social network or another by the age of 12. Most social networks, including Facebook, disallow users under the age of 13 in their terms of service. But has that ever stopped anyone?

[Source: CNN]

22. 33% of Irish Teenagers Feel They Use Social Media Far Too Often

A survey published in the Irish Medical Journal found that 33% of Irish teenagers felt they used social media far too often. 72% of teenagers surveyed reported frequent social media usage, and 11% said they had experienced cyberbullying.

[Source: Machold et all, 2012]

23. 57% of Teenagers Have Made a New Friend Online

Internet friends are here to stay: per Pew Research, 57% of teenagers have made at least one new friend online, and 29% have made five or more friends online. Of those internet friends, only 20% have ever met up in person.

Especially for teen boys, video games are a major social sphere. 34% of teenage boys have made friends playing video games online, and 38% are likely to trade a gaming handle when they meet a new person they would like to be friends with.

[Source: Pew Research, 2015]

Social Media and Sleep Statistics

24. 70% of People Look at Social Media in Bed

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that 70% of survey respondents looked at social media while in bed at night. 15% spent an hour or more doing so – and these heavy nighttime users were found more likely to suffer from insomnia, anxiety, and poor sleep overall.

[Source: Bhat et all, 2018]

25. 71% of American Smartphone Users Sleep with Their Device Within Arm’s Reach

Along three-quarters of American smartphone owners sleep with their device within arm’s reach. This can include having the device with them in bed or positions on a nearby nightstand.

[Source: Fortune]

26. 3% of Smartphone Users Sleep with the Device Physically in Their Hand

While 71% of Americans sleep with their phone close, 3% actually keep their smartphone in their hand while they snooze.

[Source: Fortune]

27. 41% of Young Adults Experience Sleep Issues Due to Social Media

Nearly half of young adults report sleep issues related to social media. That number appears to be on the rise: from 26% in 2015 to 41% in 2017.

[Source: CBS]

28. Facebook-Addicted Students 30% More Likely to Encounter Sleep Issues

A study of 412 Peruvian college students found a significant association between Facebook dependence and sleep issues. Most notably, students addicted to Facebook had a harder time staying awake during the day – possibly because they were using the social media platform late at night. This study also found that 8% of undergraduate students surveyed had some level of Facebook dependence.

[Source: Wolniczak et al, 2013]

29. 21% of Adults Check Their Phone in the Middle of the Night

More than one in five adults reported that they wake up in the middle of the night to check their phone. Hopefully whatever they find is worth getting up for.

[Source: Sleep Foundation]

More Social Media Addition and Mental Health Statistics

30. 56% of People Experience Fear of Missing Out When Away from Social Networks

A recent survey found that 56% of respondents worry they’ll miss out on events, status updates, and more if they leave social media alone. 52% of respondents said they were thinking about taking a vacation from social media – but only 24% really believed they’d be able to keep away.

[Source: Mashable]

31. 55% of Drivers Admit They’ve Checked Social Media While Behind the Wheel

While most people are aware of the risks of using a smartphone while driving, a shocking number of people still do it. One of the most interesting points is that 55% of drivers admit they’ve accessed their social media accounts while operating a vehicle.

[Source: DriversEd.com]

32. During Lockdowns, Social Media Usage Increased by 20%

A study published in the Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace found that social media usage went up during coronavirus lockdowns, from 11.8 hours a week on average to 14.2 hours a week. But the number of people who said they spent too much time on social media did not go up – perhaps because it was already pretty high, at 46%.

But social media time wasn’t the only screen time that increased during the pandemic. Time spent playing video games nearly doubled, from 6.3 hours to 10.8 hours per week. It is unclear, however, whether this increase was due to widespread lockdowns or to the release of the new Animal Crossing.

[Source: Zarco-Alpuente, et all, 2021]

33. The Philippines Has the Highest Social Media Use, at 4 Hours a Day

Globally, social media users in the Philippines clock in an average of just over 4 hours of use daily. Brazil is second, sitting at 3.75 hours, followed by Columbia and Nigeria, which both sit at 3 hours and 36 minutes.

[Source: Global Web Index]

34. 30% of Online Time is Attributed to Social Media

Overall, 30% of the time spent online is attributed to social media platforms. This can include both computer, smartphone, and tablet-based activity.

[Source: Global Web Index]

35. 68% of Adult Cell Phone Users Irrationally Fear Losing Their Phone

Overall, more than two-thirds of adults are irrationally afraid of losing their smartphones, which can be a sign of potential addiction.

[Source: Entrepreneur]

36. The Average Millennial Checks Their Phone 157 Times Per Day

Over the course of a day, Millennials check their phone an average of 157 times. While exact reasoning can vary, looking for notifications – including those from social media – is often part of the equation.

[Source: Medium]

37. iPhone Users Unlock Their Devices 80 Times Each Day

On average, an iPhone user unlocks their device 80 times every day. That breaks down to about one unlock every 12 minutes that person is awake.

[Source: Business Insider]

38. 32% of Cell Phone Users Check Their Device Right When They Wake Up

32% of cell phone users check their device immediately upon waking up. Another 8% take a look within 3 minutes, while a further 16% wait no longer than 5 minutes.

[Source: EZTexting]

39. 74% of Facebook Users Check Their Account At Least Once per Day

Facebook is one of the most widely used social media sites around. Of Americans that have an account, 74% check it a minimum of once a day, while 51% check it several times each day.

[Source: Pew Research Center]

40. People Spend an Average of 40 Minutes Per Day on YouTube and 35 Minutes Per Day on Facebook

While many people would assume that Facebook usage would outpace the other platforms, social media users actually spend more time per day on YouTube, clocking in an average of 40 minutes daily. However, Facebook isn’t too far behind, coming in with 35 minutes per day.

[Source: Entrepreneur]

41. 34% of Professionals Use Social Media to Take a Break from Work

Many companies have expressed concern that social media use diminishes productivity. Overall, many people do hop on social media while they are at the workplace, with 34% using it to give themselves a mental break from their jobs.

Twenty-seven percent say they’ve used social media to connect with loved ones while working, and 24% have taken advantage of the platforms to establish or maintain professional networks.

[Source: Pew Research Center]

42. 77% of Professionals Have Used Social Media at Work Regardless of Whether Their Employer Had a Policy Against It

While not all companies have formal policies about using social media while at work, many do. However, 77% of employees say they’ve used social media while on the job regardless of whether policies banning the activity were in place.

[Source: Pew Research Center]

43. Work Performance Found to Be Negatively Affected by Social Media Use

A survey of 11,018 office workers found a negative association between social media use and self-reported work performance. It’s increasingly common for workers to check social media while on the job, and unsurprisingly, this appears to have an impact on productivity.

[Source: Andreassen, Torsheim, & Pallesen, 2014]

44. 48% of Americans Get Their News From Social Media

Pew Research found that 48% of Americans get their news from social media, at least some of the time. 31% of those surveyed regularly get news from Facebook, with an additional 22% getting their news from YouTube and another 13% from Twitter. Relative to the size of their userbase, Twitter had the highest proportion of users getting their news via the social network.

[Source: Pew Research, 2021]

Bottom Line

While many of the statistics above put a spotlight on social media addiction and the impact of platform use on mental, there is still a lot to learn. Social media addiction isn’t considered an official medical diagnosis. As a result, many mental health and medical professionals feel that the topic is under-researched, and there is a good chance that far more people are actually suffering from it than we realize.

However, the statistics above do give a glimpse into the landscape. They highlight aspects of social media addiction, as well as potentially relating information about mental health and overall social media engagement. Plus, they are fascinating in their own right, showing us all how pervasive social media use is and what it could be doing to the population.

For more research on the relationship between social media and mental health, you can check out the Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace.

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Michael X. Heiligenstein

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