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Filipinos Lead the World in... Social Media 'Addiction'

Social media addiction? Or just slow internet?
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The Philippines has been consistently bagging the title of social media capital of the world for years, and 2020 is no different. The pandemic has only cemented its reputation as the country that spends the most time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

In the latest report from OnBuy.com, Filipinos reportedly spend an average of 102,054 hours of their life on social media. That’s about 4,252 days or 11.64 years of your life glued to a screen.

And unsurprisingly, the Philippines is also among the bottom 10 countries of 45 ranked countries when it comes to life expectancy.

Meanwhile, in Japan, where citizens are the least obsessed with social media, Japanese people have the second-highest average life expectancy at 85 years old. Not bad for a population that spends an average of only 20,928 hours of their lives on Facebook, Twitter, etc. That’s about 1,289 days or 3.5 years, only a quarter of Filipino social media time.

According to OnBuy, two-thirds of the 2,153 respondents from 45 countries said they use social media to keep in touch with family due to the pandemic, 61 percent use social media to get news, and 54 percent use it just to fill in spare time. A “scary” tidbit of data also found that 30 percent use social media to stay updated on gossip and 25 percent were willing to turn down a night out in the real world to spend more time online.

After the Philippines, the next highest-ranking social media “addicts” are emerging markets like Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, UAE, and Thailand. Meanwhile, developed countries like Japan, Austria, and the Netherlands ranked among the least social media “addicted” countries.

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Photo by Statista.

This is pretty much in line with other reports on global social media use. The Philippines topped the Global Web Index as the country that spends the most hours per day on social media. According to that report, Filipinos spend an average of almost four hours per day on social media, versus Japan’s 45 minutes per day.

China wins the title of biggest social media population, but it’s clear that Filipinos are the ones that spend the most time on these platforms. While OnBuy refers to it as an “addiction,” there’s probably more to it than that.

According to UP sociologist Athena Presto in the Asian Journal, there are a lot of factors to consider, the pandemic being number one. Filipinos could be going online more often to stay updated on COVID-19. Or maybe it’s because most of our time online is spent waiting for something to load. After all, we might be the most active social media users out there, but we also have one of the slowest internet speeds in Asia.

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About The Author
Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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