The Real Social Media Addiction Stats for 2023

December 14, 2022

11 min read

Over that last decade, there has been a significant cultural change that is now global. It is the norm now to spend time each day checking your social media feeds. What began as a teenage fad has gradually spread to encompass more than half the world's population. Social media scrolling is normal for most people, although somewhat time-consuming. For some though, social media is an addiction.

Social media addiction is a behavioral addiction characterized as being overly concerned about social media and driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media. Social media addicts spend so much time on their social apps that it impairs other important life areas.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram produce the same neural circuitry caused by gambling and recreational drugs. A constant stream of retweets, likes, and shares affects the brain's reward area and triggers the same kind of chemical reaction as other drugs, such as cocaine. Some neuroscientists have compared social media interaction to a syringe of dopamine being injected straight into the system.

The amount of social media addiction statistics collected, particularly for 2022, is relatively small. Nonetheless, we have included some stats we feel are relevant. We have extrapolated older data in some cases in order to make predictions for the coming year of 2023.

By the way, if you feel that you may be suffering from social media addiction, you should ask yourself the following six questions. If you answer "yes" to more than three of them, you may be developing a social media addiction.

  • Do you spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
  • Do you feel urges to use social media more and more?
  • Do you use social media to forget about personal problems?
  • Do you often try to reduce the use of social media without success?
  • Do you become restless or troubled if unable to use social media?
  • Do you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies?

The Real Social Media Addiction Stats:

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Over 5 Billion Internet Users

Data from Statista surveyed in July 2022 indicated that there were more than 5 billion internet users, up from 4.9 billion in 2021. This increase of over 170 million users alone provides an estimate of the number of people around the world who could develop an addiction to social media.

How so?

Social media in itself affects how our brain works. With snippets of hormone-inducing posts, social media use can disrupt the concentration of our natural opioids and serotonin. The addictive quality of social media usage is further increased when users engage in mental rituals like following certain accounts or posting frequently to stay in touch with friends. Moreover, social media increasingly replaces physical human interactions. As social media usage increases, it seems likely that internet addiction stats will continue to increase as well.

Internet Users


5.34 Billion Mobile Internet Users

Almost 4 in 5 of the mobile handsets in use today are smartphones and their usage grew to 5.34 billion by the start of Q3 2022. Almost 67% of the world's total population now use some form of mobile phone, with the global mobile population growing by 93 million since last year.

China has Over 1 Billion Internet Users

China tops the bill with over 1 billion internet users, with India and the United States coming in second and third place, respectively. It is one more indicator of the internet continuing to impact people in unprecedented ways all over the world.

Internet usage has proliferated globally, with more people accessing the internet from more places than ever before. As a result of this proliferation, internet usage is now on par with physical media usage in many countries. In China and India specifically, internet users are not just using it to research and learn new information–they're also using it for entertainment or social networking.

4.7 Billion Active Social Media Users

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Since July 2022, there are already 4.70 billion social media users. This represents a 227 million increase over the past year. While China has almost 984 million active social media users, the US has over 300 million. It is now estimated that 59% of the world's population uses social media, an increase of more than 5 percent in just a year.

What this means is that social media addiction is a global problem that's only getting worse. In addition, regardless of your location or socioeconomic status, you're almost certainly using social media in some way or another.

2.9 Billion Monthly Active Users on Facebook

popular social networks worldwide


The number of active Facebook users each month is estimated at more than 2.9 billion, making Facebook the first social networking site to have surpassed one billion registered accounts. What is worth noting is that its umbrella company, Meta, owns three other major social platforms: WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. These platforms combined have a user base of over 1 billion. This means is that even if users are not actively using Facebook, odds are they are familiar with it and use one of its other platforms.

The following are the runners-up after Facebook: YouTube (2.562 billion users), WhatsApp (2 billion users), Instagram (1.478 billion users), WeChat (1.263 billion users), TikTok (1 billion users), Facebook Messenger (988 million users), Douyin (600 million users), QQ (574 million users), and Sena Weibo (573 million users).

2H 27M Spent on Social Media Each Day

Detailed statistics provided by Statista indicate that internet users aged 16 to 64 spend a wide variety of amounts of time on a variety of media and devices. They were able to determine that, on average, the social media use of the combined group of generation Z and millennials spends about two hours and 27 minutes each day on social media platforms.

In comparison, they spend an average of 3 hours 21 minutes watching all types of television (broadcast and streaming), 2 hours 5 minutes reading press media (both online and physical print), 1 hour 35 minutes listening to music streaming, 1 hour 1 minute listening to broadcast radio, 57 minutes listening to podcasts, and 1 hour 13 minutes playing video games on a games console.

Some Teenagers Spend up to Nine Hours Per Day on Social Media

According to FameMass, teenagers spend even more time than adults on social media (no surprise about that). Teens aged 13 to 18-years-old average 3 hours and 1 minute per day. Some teens, however, spend up to 9 hours every day on social media – much more time than they spend in school.

YouTube is the Most Visited Website

Pulled from Ahrefs’ database, YouTube tops the list of the most visited websites in the world. Based on their monthly search traffic in 2022, over 8.1 billion visits were made to YouTube, with an average of 40 minutes per visit.

From the list, the other social media apps that made it to the top 10 on their monthly search traffic are Twitter (1.97 billion), Instagram (1.69 billion), Pinterest (834 million), and Facebook (551 million).

Social media gender audience distribution is around 50%

During the first quarter of 2022, Statista's survey found that there was no global social media platform that dominated the stats of male and female social media users. Among its total audience of users, Facebook's male audience amounted to 56.6 percent as of January 2022, while its female audience amounted to 43.4 percent of its total users. Snapchat had approximately 54 percent more female users than male users during the survey period. In other social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter, men accounted for the majority of users, whereas Instagram reported an almost equal proportion of males and females.

95% of Teens Use YouTube, Next to TikTok at 67%

In Pew Research Center’s survey, YouTube is still, without a doubt, the most popular platform of all. Among teenagers from 13 to 17 years old, 95% of them said it was their preferred platform of choice among those covered. There are a number of platforms that were featured in this survey including TikTok (67%), Instagram (62%) as well as Snapchat (59%), which are both used by about six out of ten teens.

As a result, Facebook's share of total use dropped substantially from 71% to 32%, followed closely by Twitter, Twitch, WhatsApp, Reddit, and Tumblr.

What we can see here is a significant increase in the popularity of platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat. These platforms focus more on Live Streaming and ephemeral content, respectively. This shows that while teenagers tend to prefer more private platforms (such as Snapchat), they still look to public ones (like YouTube). That's because social media is not just a platform for sharing personal updates with friends. Instead, it's also an opportunity to share your passions and interests with different communities around the world.

Kids Spend an Average of 102 Minutes Per Day on TikTok

TikTok has grown to be the preferred social media platform for the global population of children. Think about it: while the average US TikTok user spends around 828 minutes per month, kids spend an average of 102 minutes per day on the platform. These young people use it to connect with their friends, family, and social media stars in a fun and entertaining way.

As children in the US and the UK use TikTok more than any other platform, parents need to be aware of how much time their kids are spending on the app. The daily use of TikTok could cause social media addiction due to its excessive use.

TikTok Is Also the Social App Most Blocked by Parents

Among the top social media platforms used by kids, parents are most concerned about their children spending excessive amounts of time with TikTok as a social media platform. They spend the most time in front of screens, contributing to the physical and psychological problems that can arise if these types of applications are used irresponsibly by minors.

But why TikTok? First, it’s the most popular app for kids in terms of hours spent on the platform. They use it for social media, entertainment (watching videos and sharing content), communication (chatting with friends), and learning how to use technology.

Secondly, it has become a habit for kids to spend too much time on TikTok because they find the platform addictive. This is due to its design, which makes users return to it more often. Finally, these apps are designed specifically for young people who want an easy way to communicate with their peers without having to worry about adults intervening in their conversations. In order to avoid these negative effects of social media, parents can limit how much time their children spend on the app.

Many Teens Sleep with Their Phones by the Bed

Common Sense Media found that four out of five teenagers with mobile devices keep them in their rooms overnight. In addition, 68% of teens take their devices to bed, including almost a third who sleep with them actually in their beds. More than a third of teens and more than a quarter of parents wake up and check their mobile devices for something other than the time at least once a night (often to check social media or respond to a notification). Girls tend to sleep with their mobile devices more than boys (33% of girls vs. 26% of boys).

Over 31% Were Reported to Exhibit Symptoms of Anxiety

With the continuous use of multiple social media platforms on a daily basis, now more than 31% of internet users have exhibited symptoms of an anxiety disorder. This could probably be attributed to the restricted environment brought about by COVID. However, this is also one of the results of the continuous use of social media which has created a variety of avenues for feeling insecure and isolated.

A study conducted by the Addiction Center found that 27% of children who spend at least three hours on social media might suffer from mental health issues. During childhood and early adulthood, the brains and interpersonal skills of young adults are still developing. When they look to social networking sites to connect with other people, they tend to stunt their interaction skills in the real world.

social media vs mental health

Why is that? Because their interactions on social media sites are not face-to-face. This lack of human connection can be harmful both physically and mentally. It establishes isolation from society, which is known to increase levels of depression, anxiety, and a negative body image. This has also been proven to lower rates of compassion, sensitivity, and empathy. This negative impact on their social well-being could lead to issues with academic performance and feelings of loneliness because it is difficult for young adults (and anyone else) to form healthy relationships when they are constantly dependent on social media sites.

Werner Geyser

by Werner Geyser

Last Updated: December 14th, 2022

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