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Brits only have 8 free weekends a year

Brits may have busier social lives than ever before, but they’re still driven to feeling envious of the lifestyles they see play out across their friends’ social media feeds.

New research carried out by leading hotel bookers sheds light on how social media affects the way Britons perceive the social lives of friends and family, as well as how it’s changing the way they conduct their own. UK adults now have an average of just eight weekends per year free of any arrangements or plans, according to the study. And the reason we’re more socially active? Social media.

More than 20% of the nation admits their social lives have become much busier since the advent of networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, citing a combination of social media-induced envy and inspiration as the reason for their jam-packed calendars.

Social network diary envy is clearly a thing in 2015.

A staggering 60% of UK adults say social networks make it seem that their friends and family do more and have much more active social lives than they do. And while many realise this picture may be significantly distorted from reality, they can’t help but feel that they may be missing out. Some 43% of the UK admits it suffers from jealousy when reading the social network feeds of its friends and family because it makes them feel like their own social life pales in comparison.

However, social media is also inspiring people to expand their social and geographical horizons, with a further 42% of UK adults stating that they take ideas and inspiration from their friends’ Facebook posts, leading them to try different experiences, visit new places and say ‘yes’ to more invitations.

And keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t come for free, either.

The average adult will spend £137 (excluding the cost of a hotel room) to go away and attend a friend’s birthday party. They’ll spend even more if they have to travel away to a reunion with family or friends – £165. And it costs a degree more than that for most to travel away and attend a wedding, with the average Briton committing £199 each time they help celebrate a friend’s nuptials.

Add to this that, as shown by data, leisure travellers spend an average of £79 per person per night when booking hotels, it seems Brits are spending more than ever on socialising with their nearest and dearest.