Social Media’s Trust Issues Are Global
Is social media good for society? By and large, its own users think not. The report surveyed over 688,000 internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 across different markets around the world.
While 95 percent of the world online continues to use platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and more, a pessimistic view towards how social media impacts and engages with society continues to be pervasive.
In North America, those negative views are the strongest, with 21 percent of social network users reporting that they have a positive view of social media’s impact on society. In Europe, that number is only slightly more hopeful at 27 percent.
In Asia/Pacific region, that number jumps up to a still-worrying 41 percent while Latin America sports 43 percent and the Middle East and Africa have the most positive view of social media in the world at 45 percent.
Gen Z Is Raising Alarms About Social Media’s Impact On Mental Health
Fueling this pessimism is a concerning high percentage of users reporting that social media causes them anxiety—with the highest percentage among Gen Z at 19 percent. That’s 1-in-4 teenagers and young adults telling us social media is having an adverse effect on their mental health.
If we have such a dismal view of social media, why then are we still using it?
While pre-pandemic, the incentive for using social media shifted from connecting to consuming content, the effects of social isolation during lockdown gave platforms a boost. Users cited keeping in touch with their loved ones as the main reason for why they continue to log on.
But look to Gen Z for how our relationship to social media is changing in the future. This generation utilizes platforms to primarily consume content, with 1 in 4 citing live-streaming in particular as the reason for logging in. They are also still using it to follow famous people as well as brands they love in the name of filling spare time (44 percent).