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Survey Says Teens Worry About Their Smartphone Time
It has become a common thought and headline; teens just aren’t aware of how much time they’re spending on their phones. However, according to a new survey, that may actually be a misconception. The study conducted by Pew Research Center announced that more than half of the participants believe they spend too much time on their phone.
The study’s findings
A number that may come as a bit of a shock – 54 percent of teenagers aged between 13 and 17 said they spend too much time on their cellphone. That number is much higher than the 36 percent of parents who said they find that they spend too much time on their mobile device.
Pew found that 57 percent of teens have tried to limit their use of social media, and 58 percent have attempted to bring down their video game time. And about nine-in-ten believe spending too much time online is a problem and 60 percent say it is a major problem, the survey said.
The survey involved interviews with 743 teens and 1,058 parents who belong to the NORC AmeriSpeak panel. Interviews were conducted online and by telephone from March 7 to April 10, 2018, Pew said.
The study did find some alarming numbers when it comes to being hyperconnected. 72 percent of those polled said that they often or sometimes check their phone for messages or notifications as soon as they wake up. Four-in-ten stated that they feel anxious when their cell phone is not around them. 56% of teens associated the absence of their cellphone with at least one of these three emotions: loneliness, being upset or feeling anxious. When it came to gender stats, girls were found more likely to feel anxious or lonely without their cellphone than boys.
“Teen life is suffused with technology. The vast majority of teens in the United States have access to a smartphone, and 45% are online on a near constant basis,” Pew said in a statement.
How many hours?
According to a study from Common Sense Media conducted back in 2015, teens were spending an average of nine hours a day online, compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight.
“It’s funny how addictive it can really be,” Bruce Williams, a New York City father of two told The Washington Post. His children, he said, are probably more limited in their screen time than others. Williams and his wife didn’t even give their daughter a flip phone until the 6th grade, well past the time many of her peers had smartphones. Their 10-year-old son has never had a piece of tech gadgetry to call his own, though he may soon if — like his sister — he attends a middle school that requires him to take the subway.
No member of the family, Williams said, uses Facebook.
“She’s a good kid and a good student,” he said, with a chuckle. “But every moment when it’s not homework time or playing-an-instrument time, you’ll see her grab a phone, sneak away, and do whatever it is they do.”
How to combat screen time
Not surprisingly, in a world so connected to their phone, a trend is growing where people both young and old are trying to cut back their usage.
Apple recently showed off a new a feature called “Screen Time” in its upcoming iOS 12 mobile software. It hopes to educate iPhone users on how much time they’re really spending on their phone by monitoring how much time you spend in certain applications, particularly social media like Facebook. In addition, it will also show you often you pick up your phone and what apps are blowing up your phone with notifications. Not to be outdone, Apple’s rival, Google announced similar technology in May for its upcoming Android P software for phones.
Don’t want to wait for the technology from your phone company? That’s fine, there are plenty of apps available for download. Moment automatically tracks how much you use your device each day. If you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit. You can also track all of your families time as well.