The Cybersmile Foundation is an award-winning non-profit organization committed to tackling all forms of abuse, harassment and bullying online. The foundation surveyed more than 20,000 people ages 13-34 about their feelings and perceptions of the different social media platforms. The survey consisted of ten questions that focused on everything from which platforms respondents liked the best, to which platforms made them feel the most unsafe.
So, what were the best and worst social media sites?
The respondents came from all over the country. The majority of those who participated in the survey were female, 67%, the other 33% of participants were male. Among those surveyed, Instagram won out in the favorite category, capturing an impressive 44% of the vote. The distant second was Snapchat with 18%.
The survey captures both Millennials (ages 25-34) and Gen Z (ages 13-19), and there are some areas where the age distinction revealed itself. Within the favorite category, Snapchat was second favorite overall and second with Gen Z, but Facebook remained the second favorite platform for Millennials who are presumably the “older” set of social media users. In that same vein, Facebook was also voted the platform least relevant to young people by 27% of those that responded, with LinkedIn a close second at 25%. TikTok was voted the fastest growing platform by both groups.
The Cybersmile Foundation is specifically interested in cyberbullying, so they asked participants how they felt each of the social media platforms stacked up when it comes to their online environment. Instagram and Facebook were tied at 26% for the platform with “the biggest problem with cyberbullying and online abuse.” Participants felt that Pinterest had the least amount of cyberbullying and abuse.
Pinterest also won when respondents were asked which platform made them feel safest at 21%. What may surprise some is that Snapchat came in second in this category, with 16% of those surveyed saying they feel the safest when using the platform. When it came to cyberbullying, Facebook rated the least safe with 26%, but Twitter and Instagram followed closely behind at 22%.
Contrary to the latest push by the government and privacy advocates, only 24% of those surveyed believed that social media needs to be more regulated by governments. The Cybersmile Foundation’s Social America report provides insight from some of the most frequent users of social media to the kind of environments found among the various social media platforms.