American teenagers would rather text their friends instead of speaking to them in person.
And even if they do meet face-to-face, teens admit that social media often distracts them from paying attention to the people they’re with, according to a new study from Common Sense Media.
More than half of young people between the ages of 13 and 17 agree that using social media distracts them from personal relationships and their homework, while almost one-third say it even disrupts their sleep.
Thirty-five percent would rather text their friends, as opposed to the 32 percent of young people who still prefer to have actual, literal face-time with their buddies.
Eight out of every 10 teens are on social media, which is about the same number as in 2012, when a similar study was conducted. What’s skyrocketed since then is how often the kids check social media.
Almost 4-in-10 teens say they use social media multiple times an hour, while another 16 percent use it “almost constantly.”
Having more access to smartphones and other electronic devices might have something to do with that.
In 2012, 41 percent of people in this age group had a smartphone. Today, that number has more than doubled. Almost 9-in-10 teenagers has a smartphone. Even the youngest teens are able to sign on; 93 percent of 13- to 14-year-olds have some sort of mobile electronic device such as a tablet.
Overall, young people say social media has a positive effect on their state of mind; 1-in-4 report that it actually makes them feel less lonely. And more than 1-in-4 teens believe social media offers an important means of creative expression.
But what will be no comfort to Americans moms and dads is that more than half of the teens surveyed say if their parents were more aware of what happens on social media, they’d be a lot more worried about it.