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Surprising Study Finds Teens Spend Even More Time Using Technology Than You Think

It’s a cliche, really — kids are consumed with Instagram, texting and video games. Well, there’s a reason this is a cliche.

A new study by Common Sense Media has found that teens spend a mind-boggling nine hours each day on all forms of media, including TV, video games, social media, reading and music. Even more eye-opening is that the nine-hour figure does not take into account media consumed at school or on homework.

Tweens, defined as kids between the ages of 8 and 12, spend about six hours using media each day.

James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, summed up the findings:

I think the sheer volume of media technology that kids are exposed to on a daily basis is mind-boggling. It just shows you that these kids live in this massive 24/7 digital media technology world, and it’s shaping every aspect of their life. They spend far more time with media technology than any other thing in their life. This is the dominant intermediary in their life.”

The study focused on 2,600 kids between the ages of 8 and 18.

Time spent staring at a screen appears to be rather high, with teenagers’ eyeballs glued to a computer, phone or tabled six-and-a-half hours each day. Tweens came in at four-and-a-half hours. It’s all part of a trend in which teens and younger children appear to be consumed with screen time.

There were some other alarming findings, as well:

  • 50% of teenagers tend to use social media when they do their homework, while 60% admit to texting
  • about two-thirds of kids who watch TV or text while doing homework thinks that behavior has no effect, while half say the same thing about social media
  • 62% of teenage boys admit they like video games a lot. That’s a huge jump from the 20% of girls who say that.
  • 29% of teenage boys say they like social media a lot, much lower than the 44% of girls in the same age group
  • more than half of all tweens have their own tablet, while two-thirds of teens have smartphones

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