Opinion

Study reveals the cities most addicted to social media

Canterbury is roughly half as 'bad'* at the worst city residents and twice a bad as the lowest ranked

Are you a social media addict? A Facebook feak? A Twitter tweeter? An Instagram instigator? Well, if the answer is ‘yes’, it appears that you are far from alone.

Some people, in Manchester and Bradford, for example, spend about 16 hours a week on social media. Stop to consider that for a moment. That’s the equivalent of two full working days.

I find that a bit frightening. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I not one of those old foggies that goes around saying that Facebook is not for them. If nothing else, it is the lifeblood of this site. Also, as a former expat in Thailand I find it a great way to keep up with what is happening with my friends back there. The drawback to this is that they keep posting pictures of cold beers on tables next to sun-kissed beaches. How I hate them!

So where does Kent feature in all this? Well, in a survey bidding to find why city has the worst social media addicts, Canterbury came below halfway in a league table of those who spent the most time on it. Given the county has no other cities and, to me, Canterbury is more like a town with a cathedral than a city, admittedly we don’t have a lot to go on.

Rochester, with its cathedral, has the dubious ‘honour’ of being the only place in the UK to lose its city status. Someone forgot to put more money in the meter and it dropped out of the picture. This was much to the dismay of a Pointless contestant the other week who, when trying to name a city with an ‘R’ in its name said Rochester and was bombed out.

With our social lives having been virtual for almost a year, it’s no surprise that we’re spending more time on social media than ever. Despite being a great way to stay in touch, these platforms are highly addictive, and with more time on our hands, there’s no doubt that the nation’s usage has drastically increased.

Intrigued to find out more, experts at AddictiveTips.com conducted a study looking into how many hours a week on average the UK spends on social media. To do so 5,435 participants were asked to record their weekly screen time for the most popular social media platforms over a six-month period, exposing the UK city most addicted to social media, and from this the most addictive site*.

AddictiveTips.com found Brits spend an average of 11 hours and 4 minutes on social media per week. That’s still close to a working day and a half.

Manchester stands as the city most addicted to social media, with locals spending an average of 16 hours and 13 minutes a week scrolling through popular social sites. The most popular platform in this region is Facebook, with participants logging on for an average of 16 hours and 35 minutes a week.

Ranking second is Bradford, where residents spend approximately 16 hours and five minutes a week on social media. You will most likely catch these locals on YouTube, with participants admitting to spending an average of 16 hours and 30 minutes a week watching videos.

In third place is Sheffield with an average social media screen time of 15 hours and 58 minutes. The most popular platform in Sheffield is WhatsApp with people spending an average of 16 hours and 32 minutes a week messaging.

Following behind, among the cities most addicted to social media, are Worchester (15 hours 32mins), London (14 hours 42mins) and Liverpool (14 hours 33mins) respectively ranking fourth, fifth and sixth.

Peterborough stands as the UK city least addicted to social media. Participants spend 75% less time scrolling through socials than Manchester, recording a weekly average of just 4 hours and 2 minutes. YouTube is also this region’s favourite platform with users watching videos for an average of five hours and 50 minutes a week.

Addictivetips.com can reveal that TikTok is the most addictive social media site with Brits spending an average of 12 hours and 12 minutes on the platform.

YouTube comes in second (12 hours and 4 mins), followed by Facebook (11 hours and 59 mins), Twitter (11 hours 56 mins) and Instagram (11 hours and 46 mins).

*Of course, this assumes you will consider spending a lot of time on social media as bad for you.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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