March 1, 2021

New Report: “How Teens and Parents Navigate Screen Time and Device Distractions”

From Pew Research:

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.

Parents and teens report varying levels of attachment, distraction due to their cellphones

Teens’ sometimes hyperconnected relationship with their devices is also evident in other findings from the Center. Fully 72% of teens say they often or sometimes check for messages or notifications as soon as they wake up, while roughly four-in-ten say they feel anxious when they do not have their cellphone with them. 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.

Teens hold mixed opinions about whether they spend too much time in front of screens …

Parents, too, are anxious about the effects of screen time on their children, a separate survey shows. Roughly two-thirds of parents say they are concerned about their teen spending too much time in front of screens, and 57% report setting screen time restrictions for their teen in one way or another.

Additionally, 15% of parents say they often lose focus at work because they are distracted by their phone. That is nearly double the share of teens (8%) who say they often lose focus in school due to their own cellphones.

These are some of the main findings from the Center’s survey of 743 U.S. teens and 1,058 U.S. parents of teens conducted March 7-April 10, 2018. Throughout the report, “teens” refers to those ages 13 to 17, and “parents” refers to parents of at least one child ages 13 to 17.

Direct to Full Text Report

Direct to Full Text Report (20 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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