Between posting photos on Instagram, Tweeting, and scrolling through Facebook, most of us are clocking up the minutes on one or more social media platforms.
The short answers to the question in the title are of course: ‘a lot’ and possibly ‘too much!’ It can be both a blessing –it’s easy to stay connected with friends and family across time zones and continents as well as down the street. And a curse –it’s a time and energy sucker, as many of us spend an inordinate amount of time on social media and not always in a productive way.
Of course, with mobile devices it’s no wonder usage has increased. We can scroll and swipe virtually anywhere, from standing in line at the bank to lounging by the pool. It can be entertaining and useful, but also a distraction and disruptive. Let’s quickly look at some statistics and then go deeper with some of the more popular platforms.
3 Billion People Using Social Media By 2021!
Whether we like it or not we spend half our lives staring at a screen in some capacity –for work or play, and social media has become a big part of our lives. The number of users increases every day. By 2021 a whopping 3 billion people are expected to use it –that’s almost half the world’s projected population at that time.
According to GlobalWebIndex, residents of the Philippines lead with 3 hours and 57 minutes spent a day on social media, whereas the Japanese come in last with only 48 minutes of social media time. Our online presence is definitely time-consuming, but although it’s still high, the average time spent on social media started to plateau or even decline?
The Big Six Social Media Apps
According to Statista in 2017 people spent 135 minutes per day (nearly two and a half hours)socializing online –with most of that interaction taking place on the big six apps –Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Back in 2016, it was only 126 minutes. But it seems the 2017 spike was short-lived, as there was almost a two percent drop in 2018 and 2019. This number is projected to plateau over the next year or so.
Facebook is still king of the social media world and wins the ‘most time spent on social media’ prize. One study shows that users of the platform spend 58 minutes there per day. And since Facebook still attracts 1.4 billion active daily users –think of all the time people are using up worldwide on this one app alone.
WhileFacebook attracts 85% of Internet users YouTube comes in second -with 79% of all users owning a YouTube account. According to statistics most users prefer to watch YouTube on their mobile devices, and one study shows 10% of British kids aged 3-16 watch a staggering 3 hours of YouTube videos daily.
Instagram is still growing, with adult users spending an average of 26 minutes per day on the app in 2018 and the time spent on Snapchat is the same, about 26 minutes per day.
Activity Tracker for Social Media
So that being said, do you now feel like monitoring your social media activity? Some apps like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube provide activity trackers and you can even set a timer to ensure you keep the time spent on the platform to a minimum.
Moderation is key just like everything in life, and by monitoring our activity we make the time we do spend on social media less frantic, more enjoyable, and meaningful. As the old adage goes, less is more.