South Londoners’ social media usage among highest in the UK

By Davina Hyde

As people spend more and more time on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, new research has revealed that three South London boroughs are in the top 10 most active social media usage areas in the UK.

A new study by cybersecurity and privacy experts VPN Overview analysed ONS data across more than 400 areas of the UK to discover the areas in the UK which spend the most and least time on social platforms.

The study reveals that Islington is the social media capital of the UK, with Lambeth, Wandsworth and Southwark ranked third, fifth and eighth in the UK.
North Norfolk is the least social media active area in the UK.

The research looked at the internet usage among different age groups compared to the demographic make-up of each unitary authority, district and borough in the UK.

Esther Mason, 25, a resident in Wandsworth, said: “London’s population is comparatively younger than that of the UK overall.

“Given younger people tend to be more active across socials, this would likely be a contributing factor as to why we might see higher usage in areas like Wandsworth compared to other areas of the UK.”

Wandsworth has a population of 329,735, with residents spending an average of one hour 38 minutes on social media each day.

Another Wandsworth resident said: “Lots of my friends who live in London are not back in their offices yet, so people are spending more time on their phone at home.
“Working from home correlates with higher phone usage because you are on your own for longer.

“If apps count as social media, then if I have to go out anywhere, I have to get an app. For example, the best way to get a McDonald’s delivery is to get an app. I find that if I am on the phone for that, or ordering at a restaurant, I can then flick on to Instagram or another social media app easily.

“I didn’t have a Next Door app before Covid, but there is a lot of neighbourhood conversation on that, so as I am working from home more it is nice to see what is happening in my neighbourhood.”

Islington ranked top of the rankings list, with residents spending an average of one hour 45 minutes on social media each day. This is driven by the fact that the borough has one of the highest proportions of women under 35 in any area of the UK.

“In Islington 16 per cent of women are between 16 and 24, considerably higher than the UK average of 10 per cent, while 27 per cent are between 25 and 34, which is more than double the national average of 13 per cent.

Women aged 16-24 spend the longest amount of time on social media each day, estimated at an average of 192 minutes, while women aged between 25 and 34 spend around two hours and 42 minutes on social media each day.

In third place was Lambeth, recording daily usage average of one hour 40 minutes per person among the London borough’s population of 321,813.
In North Norfolk people spend one hour on social media sites and apps daily.

A spokesman for VPN Overview said: “Social media has become an integral part of people’s daily lives, and so many have relied on it, particularly in the last 18 months, to stay in touch with friends and family.

“However, it is also important to remain aware of the risks of spending too much time social platforms.”

Pictured top: Lambeth, Wandsworth and Southwark are ranked third, fifth and eighth in the UK for social media use



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