Are Teens Too Reliant on Social Media?
Common Sense Media [CSM] conducted a 2015 report on media use of 8 to 18 year-olds, and the results are sparking a conversation about the modern teenager’s reliance on social media.
According to the CSM infographic, teenagers [13 to 18 year-olds] spend nine hours either on cell phones, video games, computers, tablets, or televisions a day. Assuming that an average teenager gets eight hours of sleep, that would mean they have 16 hours of time during the day, and the time spent on electronics would consume 56 percent of that time.
This is a concern because more and more teenagers are being accused of not being able to get off and stay off their phones for long periods of time. According to the Pew Research center, 91 percent of teenagers access internet on their phones. The site goes on to list Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter as the most common apps one will see on the modern teenager’s phone.
“[Social media] is not a big part of my life,” Andrew McSween ‘17 said. When asked if he experiences any feelings of irritability when not able to get on his phone, his response was “No.”
“When I’m unable to be on my phone I feel a little annoyed,” Hunter Winnen ‘16 said. “But I feel like it’s good to be off my phone and out and about.”
With recent advancements in technology and the ever changing apps and updates that are constantly being created, there is seemingly an app to please every different type of person. There are also several apps designed with the intention to limit one’s screen time. One of these apps, called Flipd, does so by putting a lock on the owner’s smartphone, leaving them completely unable to access it for a predetermined amount of time. The app even auto-replies to text messages, but still allows users to set up a list of emergency contacts in case a call is really urgent. Other highly rated apps with the same idea in mind are Moment and Offtime. Moment monitors screen time on one or multiple devices and creates a timeline of usage. Offtime is a much more extensive tracking app that monitors time spent on specific apps and how many times the phone is unlocked, as well as total time spent communicating with contacts.