You see it everywhere; in restaurants, at movies, at airports and sadly even at the dinner table. Everywhere you look, there seems to be an endless number of people staring at their phones and scrolling at something. You’d like to put your nose up at these people endlessly scrolling through Instagram, refreshing Twitter feeds, sharing TikTok videos or getting lost in the latest Facebook updates, except chances are you are doing it yourself.
Just how addicted have we become to mindless scrolling? Well, according to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, an average internet user spends 144 minutes (2 hours and 24 minutes) on social media every day. This translates to an astonishing 876 hours or approximately 36.5 days per year.
Atlas VPN analyzed data provided by DataReportal. The data is based on a survey with internet users aged 16 to 64 about their social media usage habits.
Emerging markets exhibit longer social media use. 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 the number of social media platforms used each month, with the country’s internet users actively engaging with 8.1 social networks monthly.
In the United States, scrolling accounts for 135 minutes (2 hours 15 minutes) connected to social media daily and in Canada we are spending 115 minutes per day.
In contrast, people in Japan allocate only 50 minutes of their daily time to social media — the least of all surveyed countries and in South Korea scrollers are spending just 66 minutes (1 hour and 6 minutes) to social media. 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 or perhaps, such nations simply have better things to do with their time.
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 that as a key reason. Meanwhile, 34.5% employ social media platforms to stay updated on news stories (if a cat in a tree can be considered newsworthy).
While there are a few exceptions the richer and more educated the country, the less amount of time that users dedicate to social media. But even at the lowest recorded rates that’s still an hour a day being captured by the power of social media.