How Teens and Parents Navigate Screen Time and Device Distractions [REPORT]

Excited diverse male and female college students celebrate the end of the semester. They are reaching up toward the camera.
54% of U.S. teens say they spend too much time on their cellphones, and two-thirds of parents express concern over their teen’s screen time. But parents face their own challenges of device-related distraction.Parents and teens report varying levels of attachment, distraction due to their cellphonesAmid roiling debates about the impact of screen time on teenagers, roughly half of those ages 13 to 17 are themselves worried they spend too much time on their cellphones. Some 52% of U.S. teens report taking steps to cut back on their mobile phone use, and similar shares have tried to limit their use of social media (57%) or video games (58%), a new Pew Research Center survey finds.

Teens’ sometimes hyperconnected relationship with their devices is also evident in other findings from the Center. Fully 72% of teens say they often or sometimes check for messages or notifications as soon as they wake up, while roughly four-in-ten say they feel anxious when they do not have their cellphone with them. Overall, 56% of teens associate the absence of their cellphone with at least one of these three emotions: loneliness, being upset or feeling anxious. Additionally, girls are more likely than boys to feel anxious or lonely without their cellphone.

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