Jan 16, 2019 | Updated: 01:26 PM EST

Teens Spend a Third Of Their Day On Media

Nov 08, 2015 06:45 PM EST


According to a new study by Common Sense Media, teenagers spend a third of their day, approximately nine hours, on the Internet and/or social media, while those from 8 to 12 years old are around six hours a day.

The aims of the study are not only to draw a baseline data on youngsters' use of media but also to create awareness about technology. Executive director Jim Steyer was astounded on both pre-teens and teens' media consumption and how the government has no efforts about this.

"Where is the research?" Steyer said. "We're conducting the biggest experiment on our kids - the digital transition - without research."

Because the average screen time is difficult to determine in recent years. The most similar study with Common Sense is the study of Kaiser Family Foundation in 2010 that found an average media use of five and a half hours for ages between 8 and 10, 8 hours and 40 minutes for those between 11 and 14 and less than 8 hours for ages between 15 and 18.

On the other hand, the Common Sense Study, which surveyed 2600 young people, utilized a different tool, making it difficult to directly compare the two studies. However, Steyer confirmed that there is indeed an upward trend, and media consumption is already everywhere.

In fact, teens are now multi-tasking with media on the background. "Everything is digital," he said. "We are now in the true emergence of digital natives; that has enormous implications for anyone who cares about media, technology and children."

Parents, on the other hand, are not surprised with the amount of time their kids spend on media-related activities like texting, posting, listening and watching. And those who attempt to restrict media get into dilemma.

The study also reveals the impact of socio-economic differences where tweens and teens from lower-income families, on average, spend more time on media compared with higher-income families. Also, Black young people spend an estimate of two hours beyond, average of 11 hours and 10 minutes, compared with Latinos or whites.

The research found digital inequality that becomes a concern now that most of the schoolwork goes online. "We need to make sure that technology does not exacerbate the disparities between the haves and the have-nots, instead of ameliorating them," Vicky Rideout, who wrote the Common Sense Media report, told New York Times.

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