When it comes to social media: How much is too much? Social media addiction statistics show that our dependence on technology increases yearly. Although breakthrough innovations have improved the quality of life globally, they’ve also introduced a range of new challenges. That includes social media addiction. The thing is:Although the excessive use of social media isn’t officially recognized as a disorder yet, it has serious consequences. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the most recent figures on social media addiction.

Fascinating Social Media Addiction Statistics

  • Internet and social media addictions affect 210 million people worldwide.
  • Social media addiction effects include sleep disruption among 4 in 10 young adults in the US. 
  • 90% of young adults in the US actively use social media.
  • Generation Z spends the most time on social media (2 hours and 55 minutes per day).
  • 50% of people use social media while driving.
  • 1 billion people use Instagram every month.
  • Approximately two-thirds of adults in the US have a Facebook account. 

Understanding Social Media

Before delving into the latest social media addiction facts in 2019, we need to define the term social media. Often, we use it to refer to web-based sites where people gather to socialize such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, not all online platforms that allow users to interact can be called social media.

Take forums, for example. People with common interests turn to online forums to share or seek information, much like on any other social network. But no one refers to these platforms like social media. So, what is social media?

Social media comes in many shapes and forms. We have social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which enable relationship building, whether personal or professional. We have media sharing networks like Instagram and Snapchat, which people use to capture and share significant life moments.

Then, we have discussion forums like Quora and Reddit which, unlike general online forums, allow their users to follow other people. This essentially makes them social networks.

How Many People Use Social Media?

The widespread availability of the internet and smartphones drives the steady increase of yearly social media penetration. In the US alone, social media adoption has increased tenfold in the past decade.

1. 45% of the world’s population is on social media.

There are 7.7 billion people in the world. Of that number, roughly 3.5 billion or 45% of the world’s population were active social media users in January 2019, according to recent reports on social media usage. Each year, the figure sees an average growth of 9%. Since the rate of social media adoption has increased dramatically in the past few years, its growth in certain age groups and countries is starting to plateau.

2. 70% of internet users in the US use social media.

North America has one of the largest internet penetration rates in the world, with 95% of the population having internet access. So, what percentage of people use social media in the US?

According to Smart Insights, only 70% of internet users in the country are on social media. That figure is expected to increase in the coming years. 

3. 90% of young adults in the US actively use social media.

Approximately 90% of young adults in the US aged 18 to 29 use social media. This reflects a 78% increase from 2005, as indicated by the most recent millennials and social media statistics.

4. 35% of Americans aged 65 and over now use social media.

The rate of social media adoption among older Americans has increased significantly in the past few years. Back in 2005, only 2% of those aged 65+ were active social media users. More recent data shows that 35% of older Americans now use social media. Many 30 to 49-year-olds are also using social media, with 77% of them maintaining an active online presence.

What Country Has the Most Active Social Media Environment in the World?

Mobile-first connectivity in Asian nations is driving social media activity. About 2.71 billion own phones, as indicated by our smartphone usage statistics. Not only that, the numbers show no hints of slowing down. As smartphone ownership increases, so does social media activity. 

5. UAE has the most active social media environment, with 99% of internet users visiting social platforms in January 2019. 

The United Arab Emirates has the most active social media penetration in the world, as indicated by recent statistics of social media addiction. About 99% of their internet users visited social networking platforms in January 2019, which is well above the global average of 45%.

6. Taiwan has the second-highest rate of social media penetration at 89%.

Following the UAE in terms of active social network penetration is Taiwan. In January of 2019, 89% of its internet users maintained an active presence on social media. Third on the list is South Korea with 85% social media penetration.

How Social Media Affects Us

Spending too much time scrolling through social media can lead to a range of negative effects—low self-esteem, anxiety, and sleeping problems, among other things. What’s more, browsing social media at inappropriate times can place us and everyone around us in dangerous and fatal situations.

7. Excessive social media use can hurt relationships.

Ruined relationships and failed marriages have now been added to the list of negative effects of social media. In a new survey of Facebook users, researchers found that frequent monitoring of one’s romantic partner on social media causes misunderstanding and jealousy. When people pay more attention to their social networks than their partners, it becomes challenging to build or enhance the relationship.

8. 1 in 3 divorces is caused by social media disagreements.

According to new social media addiction statistics, there is a correlation between divorce rates and social media addiction. So, what are the statistics on divorce rates by social media addiction?

About 1 in 3 divorces is caused by quarrels related to social media. Often, divorce attorneys would provide evidence derived from social networking sites. Most of these marital disputes involve Facebook. Additionally, social media seems to be ruining emotional intimacy between couples. Instead of turning to one’s significant other for comfort, people now prefer to be on social media.

9. 50% of drivers use their smartphones to browse social media.

A social media addict often makes poor choices. Scrolling through their feed while driving is one example. Research shows that 50% of people use their smartphones to log into social media and browse through their feed. On average, distracted driving kills or injures thousands of people. 

10. 43% of teens feel bad when they only get a few likes on social media.

Studies have found a link between social media and poor mental health. Low self-esteem is a psychological effect of social media. People who already have low self-esteem are more susceptible to feelings of inadequacy when they receive few likes on social media. About 43% of teens with low self-esteem feel bad about themselves when their posts don’t receive likes or comments, while only 11% of well-adjusted teens feel the same way. 

11. Social media negatively impacts the sleep of 4 in 10 young adults.

The excessive use of social media affects the lives of its users. Teenage addiction to social media might be responsible for sleep deprivation. According to a 2017 CBS survey, 4 in 10 young adults in the US claim that social media negatively impacts their sleep. This represents 41% of this age group, which is up from 26% in 2015.

12. 35% of US teenagers with low social-emotional well-being have been bullied on social media.

About 35% of US teenagers with low social and emotional well-being have experienced cyberbullying on social media, as shown in recent social media and self-esteem statistics. Meanwhile, only 5% of teens with high social and emotional well-being have had similar experiences.

13. 70% of teens feel excluded when using social media.

Although designed to bring people together, social media apparently makes many feel left out. Teens with high social-emotional well-being experience this less than teenagers with low social-emotional well-being.

About 70% of US teenagers belonging to the latter category feel left out because of social media, as indicated in negative social media statistics. 

14. 71% of teens who use social media for more than five hours are more vulnerable to suicide.

Almost 95% of US teens have a smartphone. And the average person checks their phone 52 times daily, according to smartphone addiction statistics. Teens who spend over five hours a day on social media are 71% more vulnerable to suicide compared to teens who only use social networks of an hour a day, as indicated in recent statistics of social media addiction.

15. 34% of young adults experience fear of missing out when not on social media.  

People often feel anxious when they unplug from social media, fearing that they’ll miss out on an incredibly fun experience. This phenomenon has been dubbed the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).  Roughly 34% of 18 to 24-year-olds are afraid to miss out on important events when they can’t go online, according to social media addiction statistics in 2017.

16. Only 22% of older US adults experience fear of missing out when not on social media.  

Older social media users don’t experience this anxiety as much as younger generations. The same CBS study showed that only 22% of older Americans have an irrational fear of missing out when they limit social media use. Compared to young adults, they’re also less likely to feel unwell when they unplug.

Social Media Addiction Statistics 2019

Each year, social media affects the way we go about our daily lives. As studies have shown, social media has become an addiction that worsens with each passing year. Despite the many conveniences it brings into our lives, these online platforms also come with several negative consequences. 

17. 210 million people worldwide suffer from social media and internet addictions.

Thanks to the internet, you can connect with friends from all over the globe, and you can even find someone on all social networks. As a result of our growing dependence on technology, social media addiction is on the rise worldwide. Research shows that approximately 210 million people around the world suffer from such addictions. 

18. 29% of 18 to 24-year-old Americans admitted to social media addiction in 2017.

Is social media an addiction?

Approximately 29% of 18 to 24-year-olds in the US seem to think so. In a 2017 CBS survey, they considered themselves to be addicted to social media. That figure has increased from 19% in 2015. Based on the report, the rate of social media addiction in 25-year-olds and beyond is lower.   

19. North Americans spend an average of 2 hours and 4 minutes on social media every day.

In 2018, Canadians and Americans spent a daily average of 2 hours and 4 minutes on social media, according to recent social media addiction stats.

20. Generation Z spends an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes on social media daily.

Generation Z dedicated an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes of their day to social media. Millennials came a close second, spending an average of 2 hours and 38 on social media.

21. Baby Boomers spend the least amount of time on social media.

In the same Global Web Index report on the time spent on social media by age, Boomers were found to be less active on social networks. On average, they spent 1 hour and 12 minutes on social media, which is up from 1 hour and 9 minutes in 2017. Generation X, on the other hand, spent more time on social networks than Boomers. However, they spent less time than Millennials and Generation Z - about 1 hour and 49 minutes each day.

Which Social Media Is Most Addictive?

People use social networks for different reasons. Because of this, social network usage is quite diverse. Some platforms are used mainly for status sharing or social games, while others are utilized for rapid communication. Yet, these platforms all share common principles. Most, if not all, value community. 

22. 68% of US adults now have a Facebook account.

Nearly two-thirds of US adults are on Facebook, as reported in social media addiction statistics in 2018. And about two-thirds of them use Facebook every day.  

23. Instagram has 1 billion active users per month.

Is social media addictive?

Given that 1 billion people visit Instagram regularly in a month, social media can be quite addictive.

Instagram has come a long way since it was launched in 2010. Currently, it’s one of the most popular apps in the world. As of June 2018, the social network reached 1 billion active users, up from 800 million in September of the previous year. 

24. YouTube has 2 billion active monthly users. 

Why is social media addictive?

Perhaps it’s because of their visual and highly-engaging nature.

Think of YouTube. This video hosting and sharing platform sees 2 billion active users per month.

As the leading online video platform in the world, YouTube accounts for 37% of all mobile traffic, with its biggest market in the US being 15 to 25-year-olds. 

25. Snapchat has 210 million daily active users.

The platform sees 210 million daily active users worldwide. In the US, Snapchat addiction is common among young adults. About 78% of the country’s internet users aged 18 to 24 had the highest Snapchat usage rates among any other age group.

26. Twitter has 330 million daily active users.

Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms today. Social media addiction research suggests that it sees an average of 330 million active users per day.


Social media has certainly made our lives more convenient to some extent. However, we shouldn’t ignore the negative consequences that come with it.

This is important:

Frequent social network usage leads to harmful effects on the mental and physical well-being of its users.

Bottom line:

Based on the latest social media addiction statistics, everyone needs to unplug from social media every now and then. It’s a necessary action to take in this ever-connected world, one that can help us live fuller lives.