(GALLUP) 51% of teenagers in US spending almost 5 hrs per day on social media

The following is from Gallup News.

Just over half of U.S. teenagers (51%) report spending at least four hours per day using a variety of social media apps such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), a Gallup survey of more than 1,500 adolescents finds.

This use amounts to 4.8 hours per day for the average U.S. teen across seven social media platforms tested in the survey.

Across age groups, the average time spent on social media ranges from as low as 4.1 hours per day for 13-year-olds to as high as 5.8 hours per day for 17-year-olds.

Girls spend nearly an hour more on social media than boys (5.3 vs. 4.4 hours, respectively).

These data are from the Familial and Adolescent Health Survey conducted by Gallup June 26-July 17, 2023, using the Gallup Panel. The survey collected data from 6,643 parents and 1,591 adolescents who were the children of those parents.

YouTube, TikTok Top the List of Favorite Social Media Apps

The results show that YouTube and TikTok are by far the most popular social media apps among teens.

Teens report spending an average of 1.9 hours per day on YouTube and 1.5 hours per day on TikTok, with boys spending more time on YouTube and girls spending more time on TikTok.

Instagram is also popular with teens, attracting 0.9 hours of use per day.

Personality Traits, Parental Restrictions Key Factors in Teens’ Use

Further analysis of the findings shows that the personality traits and parenting experiences of adolescents are associated with their level of social media use.

Adolescents were asked measures of what psychologists call the “Big 5 personality traits.” One of the scales that is particularly relevant, conscientiousness, pertains to self-control and self-regulation.

The least conscientious adolescents — those scoring in the bottom quartile on the four items in the survey — spend an average of 1.2 hours more on social media per day than those who are highly conscientious (in the top quartile of the scale).

Of the remaining Big 5 personality traits, emotional stability, openness to experience, agreeableness and extroversion are all negatively correlated with social media use, but the associations are weaker compared with conscientiousness.

Likewise, on average, adolescents report 1.8 hours less time on social media apps if their parents strongly agree that they restrict screen time, compared with parents who strongly disagree.

Using the larger sample of parents with children aged 3 to 19, one in four parents (25%) strongly agree that they restrict screen time for their children, which does not vary between mothers and fathers.

Parental education is weakly related to screen time restrictions, with graduate degree holders slightly more likely than parents with less education to strongly agree that they restrict screen time.

The political ideology of the parent is more closely related to restrictions.

Forty-one percent of very conservative parents strongly agree that they restrict screen time, compared with 26% of conservative parents and 23% among moderate, liberal or very liberal parents.

Very liberal parents are more than twice as likely as conservative or very conservative parents to strongly disagree that they restrict screen time.

Read full polling results here.

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3 thoughts on “(GALLUP) 51% of teenagers in US spending almost 5 hrs per day on social media”

  1. Sharyl and Full Measure Team,

    Forwarded Message :

    Dear Professor Oakley,

    Re : Obstacles to Math Competency among Students
    Harvard Removes Challenges
    to Students’ Education/Scholarship,
    by Giving Away High Marks :

    Profiling :

    Education in America :

    Thuggish Black Males :

    Then—we’ve learned, just last week,
    of ACT scores plunging to the lowest
    showing in 30 years.

    America’s collective I.Q.
    has been plunging for
    many decades !


  2. I would think that a more-relevant statistic would relate to how much online screen time is influencing TV time. If kids are spending time online and that time is deducted from time vegging out in front of a TV, then it’s probably not so bad and may even be beneficial.

    It seems to me that a lot depends on what websites are being visited while online or whether a large chunk of the online time is just yammering with friends the way they might on a phone. There’s good online time and there’s bad online time, and a full range in the middle.

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