From Dr. Mercola:
The fact that teenagers spend a lot of time using media (TV, movies, video games, social media, etc.) probably comes as no surprise. What is shocking, however, is just how much time they’re actually spending, which was revealed by a large-scale study conducted by the non-profit Common Sense Media.1
James Steyer, chief executive officer and founder of Common Sense Media, told CNN: “the sheer volume of media technology that kids are exposed to on a daily basis is mind-boggling.”2
Indeed, the report found U.S. teens spend about nine hours daily using media, and this only includes media used for enjoyment purposes. Media used at school or for homework purposes isn’t even included.
Media Usage Is ‘Reshaping Childhood and Adolescence’
The nine-hour figure includes media of all types.
When just media on screens (laptops, smartphones, and tablets) is counted, teens spent more than 6.5 hours daily, while tweens spent more than 4.5 hours. Steyer, who authored “Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age,” told CNN:3
“I just think that it should be a complete wake-up call to every parent, educator, policymaker, business person, (and) tech industry person that the reshaping of our media tech landscape is first and foremost affecting young people’s lives and reshaping childhood and adolescence.”
Indeed, today’s young people have become avid multitaskers, often using media while engaged in other activities. Half of teens reported they “often” or “sometimes” use social media or watch TV while doing homework, while 60 percent say they text, and 75 percent listen to music while doing so.
Two-thirds of the kids polled believed TV or texting had no influence on the quality of their schoolwork, while 50 percent believed social media usage made no difference.
However, research (and experience) will tell you otherwise. A study conducted by Stanford University researchers found, for instance, that “media multitaskers” performed worse on tests of cognitive control and have a “distinct approach to fundamental information processing.”4
13-Year-Olds May Check Social Media 100 Times a Day
A CNN study, “#Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens,” gives an inside glimpse into what it’s like to spend your adolescent years growing up in the age of social media.
The social media feeds of more than 200 eight graders were analyzed by child development experts, revealing what’s actually said, and why some 13-year-olds say without their phones they feel like dying. Study co-author and child clinical psychologist Marion Underwood told CNN:5
“I think they’re addicted to the peer connection and affirmation they’re able to get via social media
To know what each other are doing, where they stand, to know how many people like what they posted, to know how many people followed them today and unfollowed them … that I think is highly addictive.”
The study also surveyed parents and teens, revealing more insider clues about what’s really happening online. Teens use social media as a way to monitor their own popularity, and when