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Are we starting to question our reliance on social media?

Are we becoming less connected to social media? The latest trends suggest this is a possibility.

Social media. — © AFP
Social media. — © AFP

Following Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp becoming knocked offline due to outages during October 2021,new research has revealed which social media accounts the UK most want to delete. Whether the specific events hitting Zuckerberg’s company are responsible for some of the ‘delete’ tendencies is uncertain but such data suggests some users are weighing up the necessity of being plugged in to every social media platform.

The new study comes from cybersecurity experts and it reveals that Instagram is the social media account that UK citizens are most keen to delete, with ‘how to delete Instagram account” receiving a quarter of a million searches each month or 3.6 million a year.

Quite why Instagram features so high is uncertain, although the platform has received criticism recently. Looking at teenagers, one research study found Instagram was associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and a psychological condition referred to as “fear of missing out (FOMO)”, which has been associated with a step increase in terms of anxiety.

Facebook ranks second as the social media account people most want to delete, with ‘How to delete Facebook account” receiving over 60,000 searches a month.

Snapchat is next, with 49,500 monthly searches from people looking to delete their accounts. Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn were also high on the list.

The full list is:

“How to delete…”RankAverage number of monthly searches
Instagram account1301,000
Facebook account260,500
Snapchat account349,500
Twitter account412,000
TikTok account54,400
LinkedIn account63,600
Youtube account72,400

A spokesperson for explained to Digital Journal about their interpretation of the research: “It’s fascinating to see – in the midst of a global Facebook and Instagram outage – which social media platforms people are already thinking about removing. While it might be impossible for some of us to imagine a world without social media, being literally unable to access our accounts might encourage us to look at our social media use, and how we can tweak it to improve our lives”.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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