Revealed: Social Media is America’s Most Indulged Guilty Pleasure

  • New interactive tool by PlayUSA reveals the most Googled entertainment for each state, and lets you explore your state’s biggest guilty pleasures.
  • Social media is the most Googled form of entertainment in the US, with over a billion searches nationwide every month.
  • Online gambling is the USA’s least popular vice, with less than a million searches every month nationwide.

With self-care big news in our stressed-out society, guilty pleasures are more and more indulged across the USA. The first place most people go to escape is online, but Google keeps a record of every search made in your state – so your secret vices may not remain secret for long!

PlayUSA have compiled a definitive study into the USA’s most popular guilty pleasures, based on the Google searches made in an average month across each state, and the nation as a whole. Whilst the study looked at vices such as take-out food and a glass of wine, the overwhelming majority of guilty pleasures were in the online space.

Tranquil Tech

The USA is a tech-first nation, with guilty pleasures that get you online or interfacing with the future coming top of the tree when it comes to getting on Google. The top 3 most Googled guilty pleasures in America, across all states, were found to be:

  • Social Media Sensations: Being the next big thing on social media seems to be the newest American dream, with over a billion searches carried out nationwide each month for information related to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Georgia is the most social obsessed nation, with 14.7 million searches carried out each month – almost 1.5x the actual population of the state! Alabama and South Carolina are also guilty of social media obsession, with circa 6.5 million searches from each state per month: again, more than the population of the state. Meanwhile, New Hampshire stay away from social networking, with just 18,500 searches for social media terms per month.
  • Netflix ‘n’ (Actual) Chill: Netflix binging is the USA’s second biggest vice, with just under 10 billion searches per month for Netflix-related terms. Whether it’s subscription information, or just when the next OITNB instalment will be online, New Hampshire houses the biggest boxset bingers in the whole US. For all the time saved on snapping selfies, New Hampshire natives spend their time in front of the computer, catching up on their favourite shows – leading to a whopping 1.2 million searches for Netflix-related terms every month, or 93% of the population searching for Netflix information once a month. Connecticut is the next biggest devotee of the online streaming service, with 2.5 million searches per month, the same as 70% of the population. Oklahoma, meanwhile, stays away from the screen, with only 77,700 related searches each month.
  • Cheese Champions: Everyone loves a cheesy tune once in a while – and the US is no exception, with over 3 million searches for guilty pleasure music on Google each month. Colorado in particular has a fondness for Macarenas, with 164,900 searches every month for the cheesiest of tunes. Californians are also into their musical vices, with 2.95% of the population searching for less-than-cool songs over the course of a month. Nebraska, on the other hand, can claim to be the most hipster of all states, with only 29,700 searches for cheesy music each month.

Goodbye Gamblers

While casinos remain popular across the USA, online gambling is the least popular guilty pleasure nationwide, with less than a million searches each month. While most states prefer to seek their gambling in a more social context, however, Kansas is still a big fan of getting online for their games, with 7,280 searches for online gambling per month. Floridians also love the odd online flutter, with 46,100 searches per month. However, Montana is more indicative of the state of the nation, with just 500 Google searches related to online gambling every month – as opposed to 2,810 for real-world casinos. However, as online gambling has just been legalised in the majority of states, this could all be set to change!

The USA’s Biggest Guilty Pleasures

To see what the biggest guilty pleasures are in your state, or for more information on the USA’s most searched ways to unwind, you can check out PlayUSA’s interactive tool here.

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