Social media addiction has become a big worldwide problem, with more than 210 million addicts (and many more that remain unknown). That’s why we dived deep into this topic to provide you with mindblowing facts about: What is the most addictive social media platform Which gender and age group is most likely to be addicted to social media, and how much time they spent online What are the most common symptoms and effects of social media addiction Did you know 34% of Americans went through their partner’s phones without their knowledge? Learn more facts like this down below. How many people are addicted to social media Time spent on social media, by age How many teens are addicted to social media What are the effects of social media addiction Social media use and relationship jealousy Social Media Addiction Statistics More than 210 million people suffer from social media addiction, or even more than 350 million, based on our calculations. Women aged 16 to 24 spend the most time on social media, with 3 hours and 8 minutes per day, compared to 2 hours and 38 minutes on the male side. More than 12% of tweens and 34% of teens in the US could be addicted to social media. Almost 40% of adult social media users report at least a minimal level of depression. 23% of Americans feel jealous when looking at how their partner interacts with others on social media, with the youngest ones and couples that only live together being the likeliest to get jealous. How many people are addicted to social media? More than 210 million people suffer from social media addiction globally. That number was set in 2017, meaning it’s now much higher. (ScienceDirect) Let’s say the number of social media addictions increased about the same as that of social media users; we can estimate there are now around 352.4 million social media addicts. (Datareportal 2) Around 5 to 10% of Americans might be suffering from social media addiction, according to psychologists. (Addiction Center) How many people have social media, and what % of them are addicted? There were 4.76 billion active social media users worldwide in January 2023. That represents 92.2% of all internet users and 60% of the global population in January 2023. (Datareportal 3) Around 7.5% of social media users were addicted in 2017. The latest available data on social media addiction dated to 2017, when there were 2.8 billion social media users. Considering our estimation from above, around 7.49% of social media users in 2022 are addicts. (Datareportal) An average person uses 7.2 different social media platforms. Most social media platforms are used by Indians (8.7 platforms), whereas Japanese users use the least (3.5 platforms). (Datareportal 3) Find technology addiction statistics here. What is the most addictive social media? TikTok is the most addictive social media platform, with an average global screen time of 23.5 hours per month. However, to be considered addicted, a person has to spend 21.5 hours per week on social media. (Datareportal 3, NIH) Based on the NIH 2021 study, 50.4% of participants preferred using Instagram. Only 23.9% chose Facebook as their preferred social media platform. (NIH) Facebook was the most used social media site as of July 2022, with 2.93 billion global users. YouTube was the second biggest social media platform, with 2.47 billion users. Here’s a table of global social media apps and users per platform: Social mediaplatformNumber ofglobal usersFacebook2.96 billionYouTube2.51 billionWhatsApp2 billionInstagram2 billionWeChat1.31 billionTikTok1.05 billionMessenger0.9 billionDouyin0.71 billionTelegram0.7 billionSnapchat0.63 billionKuaishou0.63 billionSina Weibo0.58 billionQQ0.57 billionTwitter0.55 billionPinterest0.44 billion(Datareportal 3) On a related note, here are Patreon user numbers and how much they get paid. Time spent on social media by age At 3 hours and 8 minutes per day, females aged 16-24 spend the most time on social media. In every age group, females spend slightly more time on social media, with the narrowest gap in the 35-44 age group. Here’s the table of time spent on social media based on age group and gender: Age groupWomenMen16-243h 11min2h 46min25-342h 56min2h 42min35-442h 33min2h 19min45-542h 8min1h 58min55-641h 40min1h 38min(Datareportal 3) On the other hand, females from the 25-34 age group spend the most (40%) of their total online time on social media. Share of social media screentime compared to total online time: Age groupWomenMen16-2442.6%38.7%25-3441.1%38.9%35-4439.2%36.1%45-5435.2%33.3%55-6431.3%31.3%(Datareportal 3) Female users spend more time than males on social media across all age groups. On average, people spend 2.5 hours per day using social media. Or 2 hours and 31 minutes, to be exact. That’s a year-on-year increase of 1.4% or extra 2 minutes of social media use compared to the previous year. (Datareportal 3) Social media addiction demographics With 45%, women report a higher percentage of social media addiction. Here’s a table of self-reported social media addiction by gender: GenderSomewhat addictedto social mediaCertainly addictedto social mediaWomen34%11%Men26%7%In total30%9%(Statista) Hispanics and Whites are the most certain they are addicted to social media. A table of self-reported social media addiction by ethnicity: EthnicitySomewhat addictedto social mediaCertainly addictedto social mediaWhite32%9%Hispanic29%11%AfricanAmerican25%8%Asian27%7%In total30%9%(Statista 2) A study from 2019 suggests that more males are addicted to social media than females. While women self-report a higher addiction to social media than men, other studies show a different picture. More accurately, the Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences study found that 49.6% of males were addicted to social media compared to 32% of females. Interestingly, social media usage influenced females’ academic performance more than males. GenderPercentage ofaddicted tosocial mediaWomen32%Men49.6%(ScienceDirect 2) People with jobs spend less time on social media than students and job seekers. Social media screen time also depends on job conditions. (NIH) How many students are addicted to social media? According to a Turkey study, 10.3% of students believe they are addicted to social media. However, in the study, 35.9% of students also admitted they checked a social media notification as soon as it came, meaning they could also be at risk of having social media disorder. The study involved 1,274 students. (Springer Link) 30.1% of medical students worldwide were addicted to social media, according to a 2018 study. Most medical students in the Iranian study (70.6%) had moderate social media addiction. Also, male students showed significantly higher levels of addiction than females. Though Iranian results might be different due to cultural differences. Other countries conducted similar studies among medical students and got different results: CountryPercentage of medical studentsaddicted to social mediaIran70.6%India36.9%Singapore29.5%Worldwide30.1%(BMC) 52% of American internet users aged 23-38 reported feeling addicted to social media, which is the most out of all age groups. The survey was conducted in April 2019 by ThinkNow. Here’s a breakdown of how many Americans feel addicted to social media by age: Age groupFeel addictedDefinitely addicted18-2240%5%23-3837%15%39-5426%9%55-6421%1%(Statista 3) What percent of social media users are under 18 years old? More than 90% of adolescents aged 13-18 have already used social media. 75% have at least one social media account, while 51% use social media daily. The article is from 2018. How many have at least onesocial media accountHow many use socialmedia every day75%51%(AACAP) 36% of American teens say they spend too much time on social media, and 54% of them think it would be hard to stop using social media. What American teens think about their social media use: Time spent onsocial mediaaccording to teensPercentage whofeel that wayToo little8%About right55%Too much36%(Pew Research) On the other hand, 18% of teens think it would be very difficult to give up on social media. Here’s how difficult it would be to stop using social media for American teens: Difficulty in givingup on social mediaPercentage whofeel that wayVery easy20%Somewhat easy26%Somewhat hard35%Very hard18%(Pew Research) Teenager social media addiction How many teens are addicted to social media? 34% or over 14 million of US teens say they enjoy social media “a lot”. Social media usage is increasing among younger kids too. 38% of tweens used social media in 2021 compared to 31% in 2019, that’s an increase of 7%. 18% of tweens use social media every day compared to 13% in 2019. TeenagersPercentage of those whoenjoy social media “a lot”Tweens12%Teens34%(CSM) 7.7% of participants aged 12-19 showed intense internet addiction. 4.1% were boys, and 3.6% were girls. Both displayed higher psychological distress. N=9,173 (ScienceDirect 3) How much time does an average teenager spend on social media? An average teenager aged 13-18 spends 2 hours and 10 minutes daily on social media in 2021. In 2019, the average social media screen time was 1 hour and 56 minutes, 14 minutes less. In the 8-12 age group (tweens), the average social media screen time was 1 hour and 20 minutes in 2021 (3 minutes more) and 1 hour and 17 minutes in 2019. Age groupSocial mediatime in 2019Social mediatime in 2021Change8-121h 17min1h 20min+3min13-181h 56min2h 10min+14min(CSM) What are teenager social media addiction symptoms? According to Iowa State University and University of Amsterdam study, social media addiction in teenagers manifests in these 9 symptoms: Using social media to feel better Unsuccessfully trying to stop or reduce social media usage Feeling sad, angry, irritated, or anxious when not on social media Feeling guilty about not reacting to a post Needing to spend more time to achieve the same satisfaction rush when using social media Thinking or fantasizing about using social media for a significant amount of time Denying or lying to others about how much time is spent on social media Neglecting other social or recreational activities Forgetting about schoolwork or home chores due to excessive social media use Losing, or almost losing, an important opportunity or relationship The symptoms are similar to internet gaming disorder. (Sources: ISU, EU Commission, Destinations) Other teenager social media dangers: Around 25% of teens have received explicit images without asking for them. Even more concerning, 7% of teens reported that someone sent their explicit images without their consent. 20% of teenage drivers say they check social media notifications while driving. 72% of teenagers believe social media companies are manipulating them to use more social media. (Addiction Center, CommonSenseMedia survey) The value of face-to-face communication among teenagers has dropped by 17% from 2012 to 2018. Whereas everything from texting, video chatting, and social media has increased. A favorite way for teens to communicate: Way of communicatingPercentagein 2018Percentagein 2012In-person32%49%35%33%Social media16%7%Video chatting10%2%(CSM 2) Signs & Effects of Social Media Addiction What are the most common signs of social media addiction? Social media addiction signs, according to AddictionCenter: Excessive or compulsive use of social media Expressing concern about what is happening on social media and having the urge to log in Being a social media addict brings many of the same poor mental health issues as with other addictions: Stress and anxiety Changes in behavior Lower quality of life Withdrawal symptoms (Addiction Center) People with low social-emotional well-being say social media makes them feel better, less lonely, and less depressed. Teenagers with high social-emotional well-being (a person with an overall positive look on life) and low social-emotional well-being (a person that consistently feels sad and hopeless) did the survey in April 2018. Here’s a table of how teenagers report feeling when using social media: Feeling state whenusing social mediaPercentageFeel better22%Feel worse15%Less lonely39%More lonely13%Less depressed29%More depressed11%(CSM 2) Most teenagers say social media has more positive than negative effects, with 25% feeling less lonely. Only 3% reported feeling lonelier when using social networking sites. Here’s a breakdown of emotional effects on teens when using social media: Feeling state whenusing social mediaPercentageFeel worse aboutthemselves4%Feel better aboutthemselves18%Less lonely25%More lonely3%Less depressed16%More depressed3%Less anxious12%More anxious8%Less confident5%More confident20%Less popular3%More popular21%(CSM 2) What are the effects of social media addiction? The University of Belgrade study finds the most notable social media addiction effects are teen depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem. Overuse of online social networking can lead to developing mental health issues such as: Increased feelings of depression and anxiety Low self-esteem Poor academic or work performance Ignoring real-life relationships Poor physical performance Sleeping issues Back pain, headaches (Diamond, Addiction Center, Healthline) Almost 40% of adult social media users express at least minimal levels of depression. Depression levelPercentageMinimal39.9%Mild29.8%Moderate21.5%Severe8.8%(NIH) People that spend too much time on social media have a 2.2 times higher risk of eating disorders or negative body image. (Addiction Center) Most teenagers sometimes feel left out or excluded when using social media. Teenagers with high social-emotional well-being (a person with an overall positive look on life) and low social-emotional well-being (a person that consistently feels sad and hopeless) did the survey in April 2018. Percentage of teens withhigh social-emotionalwell-beingPercentage of teens withlow social-emotionalwell-beingFeeling of beingleft out when usingsocial media29%70%Deleted the postbecause it gottoo few likes13%43%Feeling bad ifnobody reactsto a post11%43%Have beencyberbullied5%35%(CSM 2) Most common reasons for social media addiction? People with these 6 personality characteristics are at higher risk of developing social media addiction. Communication and socializing problems Trying to escape loneliness Resiliency issues Lack of self-management skills Lack of problem-solving skills Difficulties dealing with life problems (inner stress) (NIH 2) Social Media & Relationships How does social media addiction and heavy use impact relationships? More than half of US people in romantic relationships report their partners are on their phones while trying to communicate. People admit that …PercentageTheir partners are oftenor sometimes distractedby their phones51%They’re bothered by theirpartner spending so muchtime on a phone40%They went through theirpartner’s phone withouttheir knowledge34%(Pew Research 2) 48% of American young adults aged 18-29 like to share or discuss their relationships online. Age groupPercentage of those wholike to share or discusstheir relationships online18-2948%30-4934%50-6414%65+7%Total average28%(Pew Research 2) 81% of Americans claim they see other people post things about their love life. Age groupPercentage of those whosee others post about theirrelationships online18-2991%30-4989%50-6475%65+56%Total average81%(Pew Research 2) Among these, 81%: 9% feel worse about their relationship when seeing those posts 9% feel better Moreover, out of 87% of singles from the survey who see social media posts of other people’s relationships: 33% feel bad about their dating life 62% don’t feel any different 4% feel better (Pew Research 2) Social media use and relationship jealousy 23% of surveyed Americans in a relationship claim they felt jealous when checking their partner’s social media. Specifically, they checked how their partner interacted with others on social media sites. That also made them uncertain about their relationship. GenderThe likeliest to get jealousWomen29%Men17%(Pew Research 2) Jealousy based on social media interactions, based on age group: Age groupPercentage of those getting jealousbased on social media interactions18-2934%30-4926%50-6419%65+4%(Pew Research 2) Jealousy based on social media interactions, based on relationship status: Relationship statusPercentage of those getting jealousbased on social media interactionsMarried17%Living together38%Committed36%(Pew Research 2) Around 53% of Americans are checking up social media of someone they date or used to date. Most of them come from the 18-29 age group. Here’s a table showing how many Americans check their partners social media: Age groupPercentage of Americansthat check their partnerson social media18-2970%30-4961%50-6441%65+24%Total average53%(Pew Research 2) About 28% of American social media users claim it’s important to keep up with their partner’s life on social media. 33% see social media as a way to show their partner how much they care about them. (Pew Research 2) Read more: Video game addiction statistics Conclusion These were the most interesting statistics on social media addiction we could find, with thousands of researches revealing how much it can impact our everyday lives. How do you feel about your social media usage? Can you regulate it, or do you feel like you’re addicted to it? Please let us know in the comments. Sources: ScienceDirect, ScienceDirect 2, ScienceDirect 3, Datareportal, Datareportal 2, Addiction Center, NIH, NIH 2, Statista, Statista 2, Statista 3, Springer Link, BMC, AACAP, Pew Research, Pew Research 2, CSM, CSM 2, ISU, EU Commission, Destinations, Diamond, Healthline Datareportal 3, GLOBAL OVERVIEW. Accessed Feb 22, 2023.