4.9 billion people across the world use social media. Facebook and Instagram are responsible for around half of all revenue generated by social networking apps. Social media has evolved into a natural part of our everyday lives. Businesses, CEOs, college students, moms, and even pets use social media on a daily basis. (Of course, the pet accounts are run by humans!) Social media provides news, entertainment, and an easy way to communicate one-on-one or with a large group of people.
In 2019, 3.5 billion people were using social media across the globe. With 2.3 billion users, Facebook was the most popular social media platform in 2019. YouTube, Instagram, and WeChat followed, with over a billion users. Tumblr and TikTok came next, with over half a billion users. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of TikTok usage has grown tremendously. In 2023, the app now has over 150 million users. Musically, the app before TikTok, gained 100 million users in just one year. In 2017, Musically and TikTok were meshed together. In 2020 and 2021, TikTok was the most downloaded social media app. In the United States alone, the app has been downloaded over 210 million times. However in September 2022, BeReal overtook TikTok with 13.9 million downloads.
Now, imagine a world without social media. No Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Discord, TikTok, Twitter, or Reddit. No news outlets to update you on news constantly, knowing what your friends are doing and where they are 24/7. No having to be worries about scammers or stalkers. While no social media does seem like a safer option, most people have the fear of missing out. If you asked anybody under 18 to imagine a world without social media, they would probably look at you thinking you were an alien. Gen Z has never known a time without social media, and they would think it would be similar to the Amish lifestyle. All the other generations had to learn how to transition from paper everything to digital (which either made things easier or harder.)
Of course, there are many positives in a world without social media. No more negative body image, safer drivers, kids would learn differently, more hours sleeping, interacting with people in real life, and overall better mental health all the way around. However with the positives, there has to be a downside. Businesses, people, and CEOs would have a harder time getting clients, downloads, social interaction, finding jobs, growing a business online, and people will have a hard time getting their opinions and concerns heard.
In the moment, it seems like a good idea for mental health; but, it is time to think of what would actually happen if social media disappeared. Is taking away the main sources of communication among Gen Z beneficial for their mental health? In the end, society as we know it would be so different. It would be like living on Mars. Instead of just focusing on the positives of getting rid of something so big and important so many people, knowing the outcome of no social media society and the impact is even more important.
All statistics, information, and ideas I put into this blog can be found in the links listed before. I know you are probably reading this on your computer, but I don’t think blogs count as social media!!