JIM Study 2022Internet usage back to pre-pandemic level - Fake news still very present

Since 1998, 12- to 19-year-olds have been surveyed about their media use for the JIM study. As a result, the study provides important figures on how young people use digital media. Which services are hot, how are households equipped with devices and how much time do young people spend with media? The JIM Study 2022, published on November 25, provides answers to these questions. For the representative study, 1,200 young people aged twelve to 19 in Germany were surveyed by telephone or online on June 2 and July 16, 2022.

The everyday life of young people has been strongly influenced by crisis experiences in recent years. Since 2020, the Corona pandemic has changed leisure and media activities. It is only this year that circumstances are approaching those before the start of the pandemic again. This is reflected, for example, in the leisure activities of 12- to 19-year-olds. For example, young people are once again meeting up more with friends and attending sporting events . Daily Internet use during leisure time in 2022 is also back at pre-pandemic levels, averaging 204 minutes (2021: 241 min., 2020: 258 min., 2019: 205 min.). 

The study, which was conducted jointly by the Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg (LFK) and the Medienanstalt Rheinland-Pfalz in cooperation with Südwestrundfunk (SWR), also shows that disinformation and insults online are part of everyday digital life for many young people. According to the survey, 56 percent of twelve- to 19-year-olds say they have encounteredfake news  online in the last month. Extreme political views and conspiracy theories are both at 43 percent, a good third of those surveyed were confronted with hate messages and 16 percent were exposed to personal insults.

A return to 2019 levels can also be seen in reading time, which is now back to an average of 53 minutes a day (2021: 59 minutes, 2020: 74 minutes, 2019: 53 minutes). In some areas, however, a stabilization of increased media use can be seen. For example, the average time young people spend playing digital games daily remains at the previous year's level of 109 minutes (2021: 110 minutes) and is significantly higher than the figure for 2019 (81 minutes). For online use of shows, series and movies, Netflix and YouTube continue to be the most relevant. One in two regularly uses these platforms for this purpose.

When it comes to shorter videos and clips, YouTube in particular is very popular among young people as a platform, although regular use has declined compared to the previous year. The topic of advertising is often discussed in connection with YouTubers/influencers. 72 percent of respondents think it is okay for YouTubers/influencers to earn money with their posts. 40 percent have already bought something because it was recommended in such a post. For just under half, this type of advertising feels more honest than TV advertising. Two-thirds of young people assume that advertising by Youtubers/influencers is always marked as such. One in four can imagine becoming a YouTuber/influencer themselves one day.

WhatsApp remains the most important app for twelve to 19-year-olds. 93 percent use the service regularly. Instagram is in second place by a wide margin (62%). After the sharp decline last year (-14 percentage points), a slight increase can thus be seen again (+4 PP). TikTok is used regularly by more than half of young people, further extending its lead over Snapchat (45%). Facebook is used regularly by a quarter of young people, similar to 2021.

Spotify continues to be the most important way to listen to music. More than half use the platform regularly for this purpose. Radio stations follow in second place, used by 45% to listen to music. Radio listening has stabilized again since last year after a decline in usage at the start of the Corona pandemic, and in 2022, with regular usage of 57 percent, is again almost at the previous year's level (2021: 58%). In this context, 82 percent of radio listeners* say they turn on the radio to listen to music, 61 percent to learn about new music. 59 percent listen to the radio to keep up with the latest news, and one in two uses the radio for regional information.

Overall, the results of the JIM Study 2022 show a return to the pre-pandemic situation in many areas. In other areas, however, such as digital games, a stabilization of the development can be observed.

The JIM (Youth, Information, Media) study series has been conducted annually since 1998 by the Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest, a cooperation between the Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg (LFK) and the Medienanstalt Rheinland-Pfalz, in collaboration with Südwestrundfunk (SWR). The representative study maps the media behavior of young people in Germany. All editions of the JIM study from 1998 to 2022 are available online as PDFs.