Common Sense Media: the new report, titled “Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences,” was released Monday. It’s the first update of a 2012 survey by the same name, creating a unique window through which to view the rapid, dramatic shifts in how teenagers communicate and relate to each other.
Among the most striking findings:
- 70 percent of teens now say they use social media more than once a day, compared to 34 percent of teens in 2012.
- Snapchat is now the most popular social media platform among teens, with 41 percent saying it’s the one use most frequently.
- 35 percent of teens now say texting is their preferred mode of communication with friends, more than the 32 percent who prefer in-person communication. In 2012, 49 percent of teens preferred in-person communication.
- One-fourth of teens say using social media makes them feel less lonely, compared to 3 percent who say it makes them feel more lonely.
- Nearly three-fourths of teens believe tech companies manipulate them to get them to spend more time on their devices and platforms.
Back in 2012, Facebook dominated the landscape, and social media was something for teens to periodically check in on.
In 2018, though, “social media” is no longer a monolith. Teens now communicate, express themselves, share experiences and ideas, rant, gossip, flirt, plan, and stay on top of current events using a mix of platforms that compete ferociously for their attention.
Sixty-three percent of teens say they use Snapchat, and 41 percent say it’s the platform they use most frequently.
Instagram, meanwhile, is used by 61 percent of teens.
And Facebook’s decline among teens has been “precipitous,” according to the new report. Just 15 percent of teens now say Facebook is their main social media site, down from 68 percent six years ago
For many teens, social media is the primary vehicle for organizing and participating in their social lives.
Before rushing to discourage social media use, Robb said, grown-ups should think twice.
A recent survey by the Education Week Research Center, for example, found that more than half of U.S. K-12 school principals are ‘extremely concerned’ about their students’ social media use outside the classroom.
Digital distractions, for example, are clearly a problem, and teens have a “decidedly mixed track record” at regulating their own social media usage
more on social media in education in this IMS blgo