Report: Filipinos top social media users in the world

A new study found that Filipinos spend about 4,252 days on social media in their lifetime. | Inquirer.net photo

A NEW social media analysis revealed that the Philippines has spent the most time on social media platforms than any other country in the world.

According to marketplace OnBuy.com, Filipinos spend an average of 102,054 hours or 4,252 days on social media during their lifetime, which puts the Philippines at the top of the list for the most social media-obsessed country.

The country, however, was at the bottom 10 countries for average life expectancy.

“People from the Philippines may live until 72 [years] on average,” noted the data released on Tuesday, December 1.

Columbia ranked second with an average of 101,288 hours or 4,220 days on social media and an average lifespan of 74 years.

Japan, on the other hand, ranked as the country least obsessed with social media, spending 20,928 hours or 1,289 days on social media during their lifetime. It also has an average life expectancy of 85 years.

OnBuy surveyed 2,153 people from 45 countries, of which 66% said they use social media to keep in touch with friends and family amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

Sixty-one percent said they use social media for news, while 54% use it “just to fill spare time.”

The United Kingdom-based online marketplace also noted that the fear of missing out or “FOMO” is another reason why respondents use social media platforms.

“A scary 30 percent believe that if they don’t use social media daily, they will be missing out on the latest gossip,” OnBuy said.

“[A]n alarming quarter of those surveyed (25 percent) said they have turned down a night out to spend further time on social media instead,” it added.

Not obsessed

A sociologist from the University of the Philippines (UP) came to the defense of Filipinos, insisting that the public’s relationship to social media should not immediately be characterized as an “addiction.”

“The fact that Filipinos spend a lot of time on social media result from a lot of different factors,” said UP sociologist Athena Presto.

She added, “It’s not just because we are so hooked, but also because our current context and circumstances predispose us to looking at our screens (more).”

According to Presto, the global health crisis is one of the reasons why Filipinos spend a long amount of time online. Another is slow internet connection.

“Sociologically speaking, it’s hard to say that Filipinos are addicted to social media… because the assumption is that it’s an abnormal activity and you are the only one who experience that,” she said.

“So I don’t think it’s appropriate to describe our relationship with social media as addiction,” she added.

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