Is Your Teen On The Phone 24/7? Here’s What Experts Say You Can Do About It

New York Post

(New York Post) Here’s an alert you won’t want to ignore.

Teens are being flooded with constant notifications on their phones at all hours of the day — even during school and when they’re supposed to be sleeping.


New research released Tuesday from Common Sense Media found that on a typical day, nearly half of 11- to 17-year-olds receive at least 237 notifications on their phones — and in some cases, they get up to 5,000 in a 24-hour period.

Alerts are almost always from friends on social media apps, with about a quarter of them popping up during the school day and 5% at nighttime.

The study analyzed surveys from 203 young people who opted to download an app on their phones for nine days so researchers can track the data. The app collected time-stamped data about what apps were running and when, as well as how many notifications the teens received.

Specific social media tracked included TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Discord.

Shockingly — or not — 97% of participants were using their phones during school hours, though the study authors did not suggest that there should be any limits or bans on phones at schools.

Many teens said they use their phones during the school day to be in touch with their parents, while others admitted it was a way to give their brain a break from back-to-back classes.

Cool teenage girl using smartphone on green background, copy spaceAlerts are almost always from friends on social media apps, with about a quarter of them popping up during the school day and 5% at nighttime.Getty Images

Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, told NBC that teens experience a “constant buzzing.”

“They literally wake up and before they go to the bathroom, they’re on their phone,” he said. “They’re constantly forced to respond socially on Snapchat or TikTok or whatever to their friends. It’s a dominant factor in all of their personal lives.”

However, the study did note that many teens, especially as they get older, try to manage their online activity and what shows up on their lock screens by using the “Do Not Disturb” feature on smartphones.

If parents are concerned about their teens’ phone use, the report provides recommendations on how to handle it.

The study authors first noted that instead of instantly jumping to judgment and frustration, caregivers should try to meet the young ones where they are and be curious about their experiences. But since kids are often resistant to expressing negative experiences because they’re scared of getting their phone taken away, it’s important to let your teen know that they can tell you anything and you’ll help them through it.

Teens in circle holding smart mobile phones - Multicultural young people using cellphones outside - Teenagers addicted to new technology conceptShockingly — or not — 97% of participants were using their phones during school hours.Getty Images

They also pointed out that parents often use their phones for several hours a day as well and use the same apps as their children.

“Use this as a way to reflect, exchange experiences, or experiment with changes in phone use to consider how it changes your mood, concentration, and sleep,” the report reads.

Realizing that every child is different — and that their use of social media will reflect their individuality — can help parents understand that this is a child’s way of living in the current world.


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