We surveyed 1,100 people and learned about their favorite spots to check social media (yep, that includes the bathroom).
Checking social media is such a common part of Americans’ lives that it can almost feel like a chore. Americans take out the trash, mow the lawn, clean the dishes, and check their Instagram or Facebook accounts. If you’re constantly logging in to your socials, you’re not the only one: over 70% of the US population had a social media account of some kind in 2019.
But between work, family obligations, hobbies, and side hustles, when and where are young Americans finding the time to log in?
The team at All Home Connections decided to find out. We surveyed Millennials and Zoomers (Gen Z) to determine how they manage to squeeze social media time into their busy schedules. Spoiler alert: they make plenty of time—41% of our respondents said they check social media for 2–3 hours a day.
To learn the when, the where, and the what of young people’s social media use, check out our infographics below.
We surveyed 1,100 people between the ages of 16–34 using the service Pollfish. We preferred gathering data with Pollfish because the system uses Random Data Engagement (RDE), a form of targeted, yet random, sampling that helps eliminate bias during the initial phase of study. We asked a specific series of questions to learn more about respondents’ social media habits. We compiled the information into the graphics below.
Nearly a third of our respondents said they check their social media accounts while using the restroom at work. Sure, it’s a bit gross, but it also makes sense: the best way to avoid the boss and score a little private time is to lock yourself in a bathroom stall.
But privacy may come at the cost of cleanliness—one study found that the average high school student cell phone carried over 17,000 bacterial gene copies per phone.
Hopefully, our respondents washed their hands afterward….
Nearly a quarter of our survey respondents reported they check social media while waiting in line when out in public. If a young person is endlessly waiting at the DMV, or finds themselves in a line 15 people deep at their local burger spot, nothing passes the time quite like checking out of reality by checking into social media.
But what platforms do young folks look at while waiting in line? Depending on their age bracket, our survey respondents preferred differing social media platforms. The survey showed:
- Respondents ages 25–34 preferred Facebook (Millennials)
- Respondents ages 18–24 preferred Instagram (Zoomers)
- Respondents ages 16–17 preferred TikTok (Zoomers)
A quarter of survey respondents prefered to check social media in bed when at home, right before going to sleep. If a social media user has a long day, bedtime is an ideal window to sneak in much-needed social media time. Scrolling through posts or tagging a few friends isn’t exactly hard work, so the right time to catch up seems to be right before crashing for the night.
Bedtime social media users should scroll with caution. Mobile phone use, such as looking at social media, can be associated with sleep disturbance in some users. At night, the body notices a lack of sunlight and begins to produce melatonin, a chemical that induces sleepiness. Unfortunately, mobile phones emit a “blue light” that imitates sunlight, which may restrict melatonin release for some users.
Now that you know the locations and situations young people like to check social media, you can make a few educated guesses in your day-to-day life. Does your barista look a little tired? The night before, they may have been on a bit of an Instagram bender. Is the guy in front of you at the drive-through window not moving? Maybe give him a friendly honk—he’s probably checking Facebook.
Oh, and if your coworker offers you their phone to check out the latest TikTok trend, maybe skip the offer. Especially if they just came back from the bathroom. Gross.
Reporters can email questions to Bailey@attsavings.com.