People spend around 876 hours per year on social media

Ruth C. | June 01, 2023

Ever found yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram, refreshing your Twitter feed, or getting lost in the latest Facebook updates?

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, an average internet user now spends 144 minutes (2 hours and 24 minutes) on social media. This equates to whopping 876 hours or approximately 36.5 days per year. 

On average, internet users worldwide actively engage with 6.6 social media accounts each month. 

These figures are derived from data provided by DataReportal. The data is based on a survey with internet users aged 16 to 64 about their social media usage habits. 

Despite only 14.3% of Nigeria's population being active social media users, individuals in the country devote an average of 238 minutes (equivalent to 3 hours and 58 minutes) of their daily time to social media, surpassing users in other countries examined in the study. Internet users in Ghana are not far behind, with 235 minutes (3 hours and 55 minutes) of daily social media usage. 

Brazil occupies the third spot on the list. People there spend 224 minutes (3 hours and 44 minutes) on social media daily. However, the country ranks number one in terms of the number of social media platforms used each month, with the country's internet users actively engaging with 8.1 social networks monthly.

Next up are the Philippines and Kenya. People in the countries devote 216 minutes (3 hours and 36 minutes) and 215 minutes (3 hours and 35 minutes) to social media daily, respectively.   

In contrast, people in Japan allocate only 50 minutes daily to social media — the least out of all surveyed countries. Neighbors in South Korea are also not keen on spending time on social media, with 66 minutes (1 hour and 6 minutes) devoted to it on a daily basis. Both countries also rank in the bottom five based on the overall time spent on the internet

The internet usage trends in Japan and South Korea could be influenced by its aging population. According to the data provided by the World Economic Forum, it is projected that by the year 2050, approximately 40 percent of the populations in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan will be 65 and older.

People in most European countries, excluding Portugal, also dedicate considerably less time to social media than the global average. Among European nations, Swiss and Austrians spend the least time on social media. Internet users in these countries devote an average of 92 minutes (1 hour and 32 minutes) and 91 minutes (1 hour and 31 minutes), respectively, to social media on a daily basis. 

Meanwhile, people in the US spend 135 minutes (2 hours 15 minutes) connected to social media daily. 

Main reasons for using social media

People dedicate a substantial portion of their time to social media, but what for?

The primary purpose for most individuals using social media is to keep in touch with friends and family, with almost half (48.2%) considering it their main activity.

Another significant motive for social media usage is to fill spare time, with 36.8% of people indicating it as a reason. Moreover, 34.5% employ social media platforms to stay updated on news stories.

Other motivations for using social media include finding content (29.2%), seeing what is being talked about (27.6%), finding inspiration for things to do and buy (25.5%), finding products to purchase (25.3%), watching live streams (22.8%), participating in sharing and discussing opinions with others (22.6%), and making new contacts (22.2%).

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Ruth C.

Ruth C.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Interested in cybercrime, online security, and privacy-related topics.

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