Teens worry they use phones too much
Andrew M. Seaman
Roughly half of U.S. teens say they spend too much time on their cellphones, according to research from Pew. About the same proportion of teens report taking steps to limit their use of the devices. Another survey found that about two-thirds of parents also worry their children spend too much time in front of screens; nearly 60% of parents report setting screen time restrictions for their children. The findings come as some technology companies introduce features to cut back on phone addiction.
Amid roiling debates about the impact of screen time on teenagers, roughly half of those ages 13 to 17 are themselves worried they spend too much time on their cellphones. Some 52% of U.S. teens report taking steps to cut back on their mobile phone use, and similar shares have tried to limit their use of social media (57%) or video games (58%), a new Pew Research Center survey finds.
Overall, 56% of teens associate the absence of their cellphone with at least one of these three emotions: loneliness, being upset or feeling anxious. Additionally, girls are more likely than boys to feel anxious or lonely without their cellphone.
The vast majority of teens in the United States have access to a smartphone, and 45% are online on a near constant basis. The ubiquity of social media and cellphones and other devices in teens’ lives has fueled heated discussions over the effects of excessive screen time and parents’ role in limiting teens’ screen exposure. In recent months, many major technology companies, including Google and Apple, have announced new products aimed at helping adults and teens monitor and manage their online usage.
Girls are somewhat more likely than boys to say they spend too much time on social media (47% vs. 35%).
Meanwhile, 31% of teens say they lose focus in class because they are checking their cellphone – though just 8% say this often happens to them, and 38% say it never does.
Girls are more likely than boys to express feelings of anxiety (by a 49% to 35% margin) and loneliness (by a 32% to 20% margin) when they do not have their phone with them.
more on contemplative computing in this iMS blog