According to a new survey from Pew Research Center, teens are cutting back on mobile phone and social media usage. Parents, not so much. The study finds that those between 13 and 17 are consciously trying to reduce their screen time.
The survey captured attitudes of both teens and parents in March and April of this year. The survey population was 743 American teens and just over 1,000 adults. Some of the parent responses were interesting, but I’ll mostly focus on the teen responses. (There was also a second parent survey.)
How Teens and Parents Navigate Screen Time and Device Distractions
54% of U.S. teens say they spend too much time on their cellphones, and two-thirds of parents express concern over their teen's screen time. But parents face their own challenges of device-related distraction
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.
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.
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.