Where the public stands on social media and smartphones in the United States and Europe (May 2024)

In May 2024, More in Common conducted a series of comprehensive surveys to better understand the impact of smartphones and social media on the lives of people in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

The survey was conducted by More in Common between 29 April and 2 May 2024 using nationally representative samples of about 2,000 people in each country (8,000 in total). You can find links to our detailed reports below.

Key Findings:

  • A majority of adults don’t go more than two hours without checking their phone.
  • Around half of all adults feel that they are spending too much time on their phone.
  • Concern about social media’s negatives is stronger in the UK and France, and weaker in Germany. The US is in the middle.
  • In every country, more people would prefer to live in a world where social media was never invented than believe social has made the world better off, but only one in four wish they lived in a world without smartphones.
  • Majorities wish they lived in a world without TikTok in every country except the US (where 47% agree).
  • Overwhelming majorities everywhere believe social media is harming children, with the highest levels (79%) in France.


  • Only about one in four people think the dangers of social media are often exaggerated, while three in four feel not enough attention is being paid to those dangers.


  • A majority feel the government is not doing enough to regulate social media in each country except the US, which may be the result of recent government actions against TikTok.


  • Regulation of social media is a unifying issue across the political spectrum – the differences between voters for major parties are small.
  • TikTok, ‘X’ and Snapchat are most strongly regarded as a ‘force for bad’. YouTube, WhatsApp and LinkedIn are seen more favorably.
  • The strongest public support for regulation centers on age controls and measures to protect children, with majorities in every country supporting a ban on social media for under 15 year olds and for enforcing a total ban on smartphones during the school day for children.


  • Young men are the only group to think that the world is better off with social media.
  • Support for regulation of social media has increased markedly since 2021 in the UK, Germany and France.


You can find a summary of key comparative findings across the US, UK, France and Germany here 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇫🇷🇩🇪
Detailed findings on the US can be found here 🇺🇸
Detailed findings on the UK can be found here 🇬🇧
Detailed findings on France (in French) can be found here 🇫🇷

As ever, we hope this work is helpful to you.

If you’d like to know more about this project and to ask for a complete data set, please contact Ed Hodgson at ed@moreincommon.com

More in Common is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules.

Photo by Julian Christ on Unsplash