Join the #socialpowerdown

Hi all,

We’ve done some research revealing how much CO2 people in the UK produce from using social media each year and we’d like to share it with the community. :iphone:

To do this, we polled people to find out their social media habits and did some clever calculations to work out what these contribute in carbon emissions.

It’s a lot. More than if someone took 3.7 million flights around-the-world. :earth_africa:

This is how we worked it out:

  • Our research found that 61.15% of people describe themselves as social media users. So that’s 33,269,536 people in the UK.

  • The average person using social media spends 58 minutes scrolling every day. That’s almost 353 hours a year.

  • Looking at the whole of the UK, that’s over 11 billion hours spent by people on social media each year. :speech_balloon:

  • We asked people what device they normally used for social media. And we used publicly available data to work out the carbon emissions from these devices:

  • Then we calculated the overall CO2 produced by everyone using these devices for social media over the year, and compared it to the CO2 produced by taking a flight around the world.

  • Looking at the whole of the UK, that’s 11 billion hours spent by people on social media each year. This creates 23 million tonnes of CO2 – equal to someone taking more than 3,700,000 flights around the world. :airplane:

  • The figures used for the devices take into account the full carbon impact when using them, including any background apps or processes that might be running alongside the social media app.

Despite this impact, two thirds (66%) of Brits aren’t aware that social media has a carbon impact on the planet. And half (51%) don’t take it into account when considering their carbon footprint.

Our research also found that using social media can have a negative impact on people’s wellbeing with 42% of social media users finding it addictive, 43% finding it gets in the way of other tasks and 16% feeling worse after browsing their feeds.

So we’re encouraging people to do a #socialpowerdown to reduce their social media use, by trying to step back from social media for 30 minutes each day.

Across the team we’re all going to try to reduce our social media use by 30 mins a day. Some of the activities suggested by the team include doing yoga, picking up an instrument that’s been gathering some dust, getting crafty and making poster hangers or reusable face masks - and going for a 5k run while resisting the urge to post about it on stories. Some community members have also shared their own tips such as @198kHz who’s been playing chess with his family, and @noah_at_bulb who’s been making strawberry holders for his terrace

Do you have any tips of your own to switch off? Let us know below and join the #socialpowerdown by cutting down on your social media use by 30min each day.

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