Surveyed: Most Americans Use Social Media To Learn About Health, Wellness, And Different Cultures

Social media has quickly cemented itself as one of the top places Americans go to first for information on a variety of topics. What was once viewed primarily as a form of entertainment and social interaction has now also become a database of knowledge for the average person.

And while there are certainly many downfalls to social media that are under constantly scrutiny, leading to an evolution of regulations and recognition of safeguarding, its presence in our lives is undeniable especially how it has impacted the way we learn.

The team at Preply, an online language learning marketplace, surveyed 1000 Americans on their experiences and preferences with learning on social media platforms. With Americans spending over 5 hours per week learning on social media, it is no wonder it is a go-to medium to enhance knowledge. What Preply found from the survey was a fascinating insight into how social media has become a vital tool for education in a number of ways.

The most popular topics Americans use social media to learn about are health and wellness. The majority (63%) use social media platforms to learn about cultures different from their own. And more than half (58%) believe that social media does more good than harm.

The most useful topics Americans learn about on social media

While there are pros and cons to social media, most Americans appreciate the tool. The surveyed respondents revealed that the most useful thing they’ve used social media to learn about was health and wellness, with over 80% learning about the topic. The translation of digital knowledge to physical health is huge, with 77% saying their health and well-being have improved from the knowledge provided by social media. The other hot topics Americans find useful to search online platforms for are cooking and baking, followed by technology.

The top platforms Americans lean on for knowledge are Reddit, TikTok, and Facebook. More than half say they believe social media offers more good than it does harm. Although you have to be careful of inaccurate information and misleading tips that live online, consuming content from reliable sources on social media can be life-changing.

Using social media for parenting and career hacks is also beneficial. Of those who take social media’s advice on raising children, 57% say the things they’ve learned have made them a better parent. Similarly, those who searched for career tips say that education on social media helped them advance their careers.

The specific topics Americans dive deeper into online

When searching for knowledge, Americans typically have a very specific topic they’re interested in learning more about within a broader subject. For example, in terms of cooking and baking, 90% of Americans searched for the niche subject of “easy recipes.” Other specific topics they searched about most were politics and cultural celebrations/traditions. Using the internet to learn more about food, politics, and cultural celebrations that are unknown to you, can give you a greater understanding of the world around you.

Online platforms open the door to different customs around the world, sparking curiosity within the user. Of respondents, 63% say they learn about different cultures from their own through social media. With cultural celebrations, traditions, and foods landing so high on the list of specific topics people like to learn about, Preply language expert Sylvia Johnson explained more about the evolving nature of Americans’ curiosity and interest in diverse cultures.

“This trend underscores the evolving nature of Americans’ curiosity toward embracing cultural diversity and underlines a growing trend of online intercultural education. As verified by numerous studies, insight into other cultures cultivates empathy and broadens intellectual horizons,” Johnson says.

She highlights how traditions in different cultures are able to enrich us, “cultural celebrations offer a rich, vibrant gateway into the narratives, values, and customs of communities around the world. The results of this survey not only demonstrate an increased appetite for multicultural understanding but also highlight the role of social media in fostering a global mindset, which is overwhelmingly positive for the future.”

As Johnson says, learning about different cultures opens the door to other’s perspectives. Nearly all of the respondents, 97%, who learn about cultures on social media say it exposes them to broader perspectives. This insight can help promote peace within communities, 96% agree that learning about cultures on social media helps break stereotypes and misconceptions.

Over 1 in 4 turn to social media for language learning

The knowledge Americans gain from social media isn’t just useful for physical things like recipes and workout plans. Many people use online social platforms for language learning as well. In fact, over 1 in 4 learn about different languages on social media, 34% being Gen Z, 29% millennials, 21% Gen X, and 20% boomers. With the diversity users can experience on their feeds, it’s no surprise that social media sparks the desire to explore other languages.

Spanish is the top language people are learning from social media, according to 58%. Other popular languages people are learning are Japanese and French. From videos showing daily life in other countries to tasty-looking international food recipes, online platforms open the desire for Americans to learn more about these places, starting with their language.

Spoken language can be so captivating that people remember it after being briefly exposed to it. Of our respondents, 73% say they’ve picked up a foreign language phrase after hearing it on social media. When it comes to language learning, a video format is preferred, so it’s not too shocking that most people would rather use TikTok over any other platform for language learning. Other helpful platforms, according to respondents, include Reddit and Instagram.

With the power to search socials anywhere at any time and have a never-ending content stream to view, you’re sure to find content that you can best relate to and learn from. Social media is going to remain a constant fixture in our lives, impacting many aspects of how we live and learn. It is important to implement safeguards that prioritize our own mental health, while maintaining a balance between being online and being present IRL.

You can see more of the survey results by heading over to Preply.

[This article was originally published on, and adapted and republished here with permission.]