Social media has wormed its way into our everyday lives and a new report from Ericsson showcases just how deep that worm has burrowed.

The report titled #OMG Social media is here to stay, was compiled using data gathered during interviews with 2 600 smartphone users in the US and UK.

Respondents were aged between 16 and 65 and Ericsson believes the results of the survey represent 100 million advanced smartphone users in the US and UK.

In addition, data from the ConsumerLab analytical platform was used and face-to-face interviews were conducted in Brazil, Japan, Sweden, the US and UK.

So what does all this data tell us?

Firstly we are using social media a lot more that we were four years ago. Average time spent on social media apps in 2014 was 30 minutes a day and in 2018 that figure has climbed to 47 minutes.

Facebook is far and away the king of social media with over 2 billion monthly active users. In 2014 Facebook Inc. services – comprised of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – had 1.3 billion monthly active users and in 2018 that figure has grown to 2.5 billion.

But it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Users in the US and UK are seemingly embarrassed about how much time they spend on social media. As much as 40 percent of interviewees think that heavy social media users are looked down on by others and 70 percent of respondents said using social media too much was unhealthy.

The Cambridge quandary

Earlier this year user trust was challenged during the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook saga and that event seems to have had an impact.

“Less than 20 percent say they trust social media services with their personal data, and about 60 percent are concerned about how social media services are using their personal information,” reads the report.

More than 50 percent of interviewees said they had read news on Facebook they later found to be fake, and one in four respondents admitted to sharing news that was later found to be fake.

The way social media is used is changing

The report finds that users are sharing less personal information on social media, users are also updating their privacy settings and questioning the content they see.

Almost 10 percent of those questioned believe that in five years we wouldn’t be using social media while 20 percent believe that they will be using different platforms in that time.

With all of that said, a majority of users – 60 percent – say their social media usage will increase in the next five years and 20 percent say it will be a bigger source of news for them in that time as well.

Earlier this month Facebook reported that growth in territories such as the US and UK had slowed but it appears – according to this report-  as if the amount of time folks in those regions spend on Facebook and other social media sites is increasing.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]