2022 Social Media Statistics: Are We Obsessed with Perfection?

1 in 3 Americans are addicted to social media

Trevor Wheelwright
TV, Streaming, & Internet Expert
Read More
February 16, 2022
2 min read

During the pandemic, social media became a source of solace, information, and connecting—but are we more hooked than ever?

We surveyed American adults about their social media behavior and now one in three people say they are addicted to social media (which is a perfect pairing for our cell phone obsession).

On top of that, about a third of Americans are propping up fake profiles and embellishing their lives. And 40% are using social media to spy on others. So is our time spent online really worth it?

Let’s dig into more details about America’s obsession with social media perfection.

Statistic - 1 in 3 Americans are Addicted to Social Media

Image source: Reviews.org

America wakes up, checks social media, and snoops

If you’re a morning scroller, you’re not alone: over half of America wakes up and checks social media within 10 minutes. And most of us (58%) use social media more than any other website or app.

  • Only 4% of Americans say they do not have a social media account of any kind.
  • Most people have between 4 and 5 social accounts.
  • The most popular platforms (in order) are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

We can’t seem to escape it either: 40% of Americans have deleted and then reactivated a social account at least once.

Social Media Usage and Snooping Statistics

Image source: Reviews.org

While most of us can’t resist posting to our favorite apps, we know there’s potential for other people to pry because 40% of Americans admit to spying through social media.

Using a VPN protects your data online in some ways, but it won’t protect you from your own posts—or who can see them. Make sure to double-check your privacy preferences before you put things out into the world you don’t want the world to see.

  • In addition to updating our privacy settings, 40% of Americans create multiple accounts to determine what we share with friends, family, coworkers, followers, and strangers.
  • 40% of Americans say that they use social media to snoop or spy on others.
  • 30% of Americans say they have multiple social media accounts to separate what they share with friends vs. family or coworkers.
  • On average, over one-third (37%) of an American’s social media connections are strangers.
Statistic - 37% of Social Media Connections are Strangers

Image source: Reviews.org

We want to know what’s going on with other people but don’t want everyone to know what’s going on with us. But sometimes it’s okay if strangers know what’s going on with us—as long as they’re cool, right?

One-third of Americans admit their social media isn’t accurate

We can’t compare ourselves to our friends posing next to Ferraris or the fashion-fitness models with thousands of followers—they may be frontin’ anyway. Unfortunately, about a third of Americans say their accounts do not accurately represent them or their lives.

Image source: Reviews.org

About a third of Americans have created fake social media accounts or embellished their lives online, including the 37% that use filters on the photos they post to social media. (A little skin softening is one thing, creating a social media character is another).

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Social media takes up time and data—which may cost you

Social media is filled with data-heavy posts like videos, large images, music, and voice recordings. Knowing how much data you’re using can prevent you from getting your speeds throttled or paying extra on your phone and internet bills.

With about a third of the population obsessing over social media across multiple accounts, don’t be surprised if your friends, family, or online strangers are putting on a perfect social media act. Even if we wake up to scroll or start late-night snooping, what we see on social media has a one-in-three chance of being fake to some degree.

Methodology

Reviews.org surveyed 1,000 Americans 18 years and older with a margin of error of +/- 4% and a confidence level of 95%. The survey results were weighted to reflect characteristics of the United States population using available data from the US census.

Trevor Wheelwright
Written by
Trevor Wheelwright
Trevor’s written about YMYL (your money, your life) topics for over six years across editorial publications and retail/eCommerce sites. His work’s been featured on Forbes, RealSimple, USA Today, MSN, BusinessInsider, Entrepreneur, PCMag, and CNN. When he’s not researching and writing, you can find him around Salt Lake City, Utah, snapping photos of mountains and architecture or seeking out some good tunes and friendly faces.

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