The Cost of Every Minute Spent on Social Media

Twelve years ago, when Facebook became widely available, it had 12 million active users. Today, 2.7 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s core products every month. The odds that you’ve already checked Facebook, sent out a tweet or spent time on another social media platform today are fairly high. Like morning coffee or brushing before bed, social media has become part of the daily routine.

Social media may be ingrained in most of our lives, but many are conflicted on whether it actually makes our lives better. There are some obvious benefits, like helping people keep in touch. They can also help people network, build their careers or promote their businesses. However, as social media sites become more efficient at capturing our attention, the downsides are taking a toll. One study from the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at 5,208 subjects and found that regular use of Facebook negatively impacted mental health and well-being.

Social media has also been tied to poor financial habits. One study from researchers at University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University found that heavy Facebook users tend to have worse credit scores and more credit card debt than others. Since the average person spends around two hours and 15 minutes per day on social media, that is a potentially major impact on personal finance in general.

So, we decided to look at the estimated combined “cost” of every wasted minute on social media. You can see the findings in the infographic below.

In moderation, social media can be a positive part of our lives. However, these networks are made with features to keep our attention and it can be easy to spend more time than we intend. Don’t let it get to the point where your self esteem, health or even credit is affected. Be conscious of how you spend your time and choose the things that will enrich your life.


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