NEW DATA: Useful new UK data on how people are using social media

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Having up-to-date data is vital in a landscape of change so bravo for a new report that looks at how older people use social media.

Public Health Wales and Bangor University have published a really useful document that maps how people are online.

While the focus is Wales the data can absolutely be a bell weather for the rest of the UK. The data feels robust. Often similarly robust Ofcom data differs only a few per cent between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So, lessons can be taken for other parts of the UK.

I’ve read Population Health in a Digital Age and blogged it so you don’t have to.

What’s striking is that social media is collection of channels that run across ages, health and economic background.

Overall, women use social media more than men. A majority of 91 per cent against 86 per cent.

There’s little difference between the mental wellbeing of social media users and non-users. Eighty nine per cent against eighty six per cent.


Seven out of ten of those surveyed use social media.

If you’re going to use social media you are far more likelier to use it daily. A total of 64 per cent were daily users followed by eight per cent weekly and a similar number less than weekly.

Just a tenth of people shared updates about their health and the majority did so only to family and friends.

A majority of those surveyed were classed as ‘super users’ using social media multiple times a day. 

Economic deprivation was not a factor in social media use. It cuts across all demographics.

There’s also a handy table which shows platform-by-platform which platforms are used most frequently.


Also the report shows that women were more active on social media than men. 76 per cent used it compared to 68 per cent of men.

Older people are active. 59 per cent of those 70 plus had used one or more social media platform.

With the advent of a world health emergency prompted by the Corona virus a document that looks at social media use as a potential channel for public health messages is a timely thing. It’s worth spending some time with it.

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