Heroes: Girl using laptop

Contents

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers

As a parent, you know that too much screen exposure is not good for your teenager. So, how much average screen time is advisable?

In this article, we’ve curated facts and statistics from top case studies to answer that question, including the following:

  • How much average screen time do teenagers have?
  • Which gender consumes more time on the screen?
  • What are the top 4 activities they’re busy with during their screen time?
  • Which gadget do they use most frequently?
  • What benefits does spending time on the screen give them?
  • What risks can too much of it cause?
  • How can you as a parent limit your teenager’s screen time?

Let’s dive in!

How Much Average Screen Time Do Teenagers Have?

1) During the pandemic, early teens in different countries, especially the US, spend an average of 7.7 hours a day on the screen.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: CNN Philippines, JAMA Pediatrics, and Soocial 

  • 5,412 adolescents, mostly in the United States, aged between 10 and 14 years spend an average screen time of 7.7 hours a day during the pandemic.
  • Before the pandemic, their average screen time was only 3.8 hours a day.
  • Researchers say the coronavirus pandemic is to blame since staying at home gives teenagers more time to use their gadgets. 
  • This, however, doesn’t include teenagers’ screen time for school-related tasks. It only covers watching or streaming videos, playing games, and watching television.

2) Teenagers in the US alone spend 2.73 to over 4 hours of average screen time a day. 

Heroes: Digital Clock and American teenager browsing social media
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (1), Statista (1), and Statista (2) 

  • 62% of parents of teens aged 14 to 17 years in the US report that their children generally spend more than 4 hours a day on the screen.
  • Those aged 13 to 18 years spend an average of 3 hours and 16 minutes watching television or online videos and 20 minutes engaging in video chats.
  • Out of 5 hours and 44 minutes teenagers in the US spend for daily leisure, screen time consumes 3 hours and 3 minutes on average. 
  • Breaking it down, they spend 2 hours and 44 minutes on a weekday and 3 hours and 53 minutes on a weekend.

3) Teenagers from households with lower income in the US spend more time (about 9.2 hours a day) on the screen.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Source: Statista (3) 

  • Teens in the US aged up to 13 years living in households with an annual income of less than US$35,000 spend 7.32 hours of average screen time a day.
  • Those living in households with an annual income of above US$100,000 spend 4.21 hours of average screen time a day.
  • Teens aged 14 to 18 years living in households with an annual income of less than US$35,000 spend about 9.2 hours of average screen time a day.
  • Those living in households with an annual income of above US$100,000 spend 7.16 hours of average screen time a day.

4) French teenagers’ average screen time is 1.52 to 3.33 hours daily and 17.8 hours weekly.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Source: International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television and Statista (4)

  • Those aged 11 to 14 years spend 91 to 159 minutes (1.52 to 2.65 hours) a day.
  • Those aged 15 to 16 years spend 200 minutes (3.33 hours) a day.
  • In a week, they spend 17.8 hours.

Which Gender Consumes More Time on the Screen?

1) No gender generally spends more time on the screen since both outrank each other in certain activities.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Source: Common Sense Media

  • Teenage boys spend an average of 56 minutes a day playing video games while teenage girls spend only 7 minutes.
  • Teenage girls exceed boys’ average screen time by 40 minutes browsing social media.

2) The case is similar with Swiss teenagers aged 12 to 19 years.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Source: International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television

  • More females (99%) spend time browsing the Internet than males (96%).
  • More females (94%) spend time on social networking than males (89%).
  • More males (94%) watch videos on the Internet than females (76%).
  • More males (68%) spend time playing video games than females (11%).
  • More females (67%) spend time taking digital photos than males (42%).
  • More females (64%) spend time watching television than males (63%).
  • More males (33%) spend time on tablets than females (27%).
  • More females (30%) spend time recording digital videos than males (18%).

What Are the Top 4 Activities Teenagers Do During Their Screen Time?

1) Social networking comes first, as proven by up to 97% of teenagers who spend up to 26.72% of their screen time doing it.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Common Sense Media, High Speed Internet, International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television, National Library of Medicine, and OECD iLibrary

  • In the United States, 50% to 97% of teens aged 13 to 17 years are active on at least one social media platform. At least 26% of their average screen time is spent browsing the platform and doing video calls.
  • In Bangladesh, social media consumes at least 26.72% of teenagers’ average screen time.
  • In Denmark, 21% of teens aged 15 to 18 years use social media.
  • In Latin America, 68.81% of tweens aged 11 to 12 years, 82.79% of teens aged 13 to 14 years, and 89.85% of teens aged 15 to 17 years use at least one social networking site.
  • In the same region, 60.81% of tweens aged 11 to 12 years, 75.13% of teens aged 13 to 14 years, and 83.02% of teens aged 15 to 17 years chat with their families and friends on social media.
  • In Australia, 93% of teenagers aged 12 to 17 years use social media to chat online, 72% to do video calls, another 72% to respond to other people’s comments, and 68% to post photos and videos.
  • 9% of the surveyed teens aged 13 to 18 years in no particular country or continent also do video calls with their families and friends. 24% of them browse social media platforms.
  • Facebook is the most popular social media site among 12- to 15-year-olds, followed by Instagram.

2) Watching or streaming videos, movies, and television shows goes next, given its prevalence among up to 93% of teenagers who spend up to 39.02% of their screen time doing it.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Common Sense Media, High Speed Internet, International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television, and National Library of Medicine

  • In Latin America, 78.03% of tweens aged 11 to 12 years, 86.42% of teens aged 13 to 14 years, and 86.45% of teens aged 15 to 17 years watch videos on video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
  • In Australia, 93% of teens aged 12 to 17 years watch videos, movies, and television shows.
  • In Denmark, 10% to 25% of teens aged 15 to 18 years stream television shows, movies, and video clips.
  • In the United States, 51% to 62% of teenagers watch television. Along with video and movie streaming, this activity consumes 39% of their average screen time.
  • In Bangladesh, 39.02% of teenagers’ average screen time is spent watching cartoon and movies.
  • 39% of the surveyed teens aged 13 to 18 years in no particular country or continent spend most of their screen time watching television.

3) Playing online games ranks third, considering that up to 77% of teenagers spend 25% of their screen time doing it.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Common Sense Media, High Speed Internet, International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television, National Library of Medicine, and OECD iLibrary

  • Among 15-year-old boys in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, 75% play single-player online games while 70% play multiplayer or collaborative online games.
  • In Latin America, 73.94% of tweens aged 11 to 12 years, 70.24% of teens aged 13 to 14 years, and 63.54% of teens aged 15 to 17 years play any type of online games.
  • In Australia, 77% of teens aged 12 to 17 years play online games with their friends.
  • In Denmark, 9% of teens aged 15 to 18 years play games on the web.
  • In the United States, online gaming consumes 25% of teenagers’ average screen time.
  • 22% of the surveyed teens aged 13 to 18 years in no particular country or continent spend most of their screen time playing games.

4) Reading online news takes the fourth place since only up to 62% of teens spend time doing it.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: High Speed Internet and International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television

  • In Latin America, 35.31% of tweens aged 11 to 12 years, 44.09% of teens aged 13 to 14 years, and 52.61% of teens aged 15 to 17 years read news articles on the Internet.
  • In Australia, 62% of teens aged 12 to 17 years use their screen time to access and read news online.
  • In Denmark, 4% of teens aged 15 to 18 years read news on the web.
  • 9% of the surveyed teens aged 13 to 18 years in no particular country or continent include news in their e-reading time.

Which Gadget Do Teenagers Most Frequently Use During Their Screen Time?

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

1) Mobile phone is what up to 81% of surveyed teenagers in Austria use most often.

Source: International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television

  • Among these teenagers aged 11 to 18 years, 77% of males and 81% of females say they can’t live without a smartphone. Combined, they make up 80% of the population that uses such device daily.
  • 44% of males and 38% of females can’t survive without a desktop and/or a laptop computer. Together, they cover 41% of the population that utilizes such device daily.
  • 35% of males and 25% of females can’t imagine life without a television. Combined, they sum up to 32% of the population that uses such device daily.
  • 12% of males and 13% of females can’t pass a day without a tablet. Together, they make up 13% of the population that utilizes such device daily.
  • 14% of males and 5% of females can’t do without a game console. Combined, they cover 9% of the population that uses such device daily.

2) The same is true with up to 67.11% of surveyed teenagers in Bangladesh.

Source: National Library of Medicine

  • 1,210 (67.11%) of 1,803 Bangladeshi teenagers use mobile devices daily.
  • 170 (9.43%) of them use tablets and/or iPads daily.
  • 131 (7.27%) of them use desktop and/or laptop computers daily.
  • 64 (3.55%) of them use other devices daily.

3) The same is also true with up to 65% of surveyed teenagers in France.

Source: International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television

  • Among these teenagers aged 9 to 16 years, 65% use mobile phones daily.
  • 47% of them watch television daily.
  • 41% of them use desktop and/or laptop computers daily.
  • 31% of them use tablets daily.
  • 26% of them use game consoles daily.

4) Mobile phone accounts for up to 46% of surveyed US teenagers’ average screen time.

Source: Common Sense Media

  • Mobile devices consume 41% of US tweens’ screen time.
  • Those devices also consume 46% of US teens’ screen time.

What Benefits Do Teenagers Get From Spending Time on the Screen?

1) They get access to online news, health tips, and other information during their screen time.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Act for Youth, Pew Research Center (2), and Pew Research Center (3) 

  • 87% of teens aged 14 to 17 years in different countries find screen time useful in getting health tips and information, particularly about fitness, nutrition, stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • The case is similar with 28% of teenagers in the US.
  • 16% to 77% of them report that spending time on the screen provides them access to news and current events.

2) They get to communicate with other people.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2), Pew Research Center (3), and True List  

  • 68% of surveyed teenagers, mostly in the US, report that screened gadgets make it easier for them to interact with other people.
  • 55% of them get to use social networking sites like Facebook because of such gadgets.
  • 40% to 67.4% of them find such technology helpful in connecting with their families and friends even over long distances.
  • 18% of them get to visit chatrooms.
  • 15% of them are able to meet people with the same interests.

3) They are able to make online transactions.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2) and Pew Research Center (3) 

  • 55% of surveyed teenagers, mostly in the US, report that touchscreen gadgets are useful in making online surveys and inquiries at the schools they wish to attend.
  • 38% of them get to buy things online such as books, clothes, and music.

4) They get entertained.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2) and Pew Research Center (3) 

  • During their screen time, 81% of surveyed teenagers, mostly in the US, listen to music and watch movies, television shows, and sports.
  • 57% of them watch videos on video-sharing sites such as YouTube and TikTok.
  • 49% of them get to play computer and/or console games online.
  • 19% of them get a chance to watch and download podcasts.
  • 9% of them claim that screen time keeps them entertained.

What Harmful Effects Does Too Much Screen Time Have on Them?

1) It causes distraction and addiction.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2), Science Direct, and Smart Social

  • 67% of surveyed teachers in the United Kingdom notice that their students are negatively distracted by mobile devices.
  • 57% of surveyed teenagers in different countries report that screen time, mostly spent on social media, often distracts them from doing their homework.
  • 54% of them agree that such activity distracts them from paying attention to the people they’re hanging out with.
  • 47% of surveyed parents in the UK report that their children have a smartphone addiction.
  • Among surveyed teenagers aged 11 to 13 years in the US, about 27% of those who spend 2 hours of average screen time don’t usually finish the tasks they started because of screen distraction.
  • This is also true with about 32% of those who spend 4 hours, 42% of those who spend 6 hours, and 44% to 45% of those who spend more than 7 hours of average screen time.
  • Among surveyed teenagers aged 14 to 17 years in the US, about 19% of those who spend 2 hours of average screen time have the same problem.
  • This is also true with about 28% of those who spend 4 hours, 36% to 37% of those who spend 6 hours, and 42% to 43% of those who spend more than 7 hours of average screen time.

2) They develop physical problems.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2), Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, True List, and Wiley Online Library

  • 88% of surveyed teenagers aged 11 to 18 years across the UK report that too much screen time negatively impacts their sleep.
  • 50% to 53% of surveyed teenagers, mostly in the US and Bangladesh, experience sleep disturbance.
  • 47% to 48% of them suffer from backache.
  • About 45% of them get a headache.
  • 40% of them experience pain in their limbs.

3) They suffer from mental and psychological health issues.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2), Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Science Direct, and Wiley Online Library

  • 70% of surveyed teenagers, mostly in the US, are at risk of committing suicide due to isolation, anxiety, and depression caused by excessive screen time.
  • About 52% of them, mostly in Bangladesh, suffer from depression.
  • 35% of surveyed teenagers aged 11 to 18 years across the UK report that excessive screen time negatively affects their mood and mental health.
  • Among surveyed teenagers aged 11 to 13 years in the US, about 12% of those who spend 2 hours of average screen time don’t show interest in learning new things.
  • This is also true with about 14% of those who spend 4 hours, 20% of those who spend 6 hours, and 23% of those who spend more than 7 hours of average screen time.
  • Among surveyed teenagers aged 14 to 17 years in the US, about 12% of those who spend 2 hours of average screen time have the same problem.
  • This is also true with about 18% of those who spend 4 hours, 24% of those who spend 6 hours, and 27% to 28% of those who spend more than 7 hours of average screen time.
  • Among surveyed teenagers aged 11 to 13 years in the US, 2% to 7.7% of those who spend 2 hours of average screen time are diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
  • This is also true with 3.9% to 8.7% of those who spend 4 hours, 5.5% to 11.3% of those who spend 6 hours, and 7.3% to 12.1% of those who spend more than 7 hours of average screen time.
  • Among surveyed teenagers aged 14 to 17 years in the US, 5.3% to 8.4% of those who spend 2 hours of average screen time have the same problem.
  • This is also true with 8.6% to 12.2% of those who spend 4 hours, 11.7% to 17.7% of those who spend 6 hours, and 12.8% to 18.05% of those who spend more than 7 hours of average screen time.

4) They experience social and emotional problems.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2), Slick Text, Smart Social, True List, and Wiley Online Library

  • 89% of surveyed teenagers, mostly in the US, feel left out or excluded having spent more time on virtual media than in the real world.
  • 68% of parents believe that too much screen time, mostly spent on social media, negatively affects their teens’ ability to socialize normally. 
  • 54% to 56% of them feel bad about themselves and even delete their social media posts when they get few or no reactions and comments.
  • 33% of teenagers in different countries spend more time socializing with their close friends online rather than in person. But even if they’re with them in person, 52% of them just spend most of the hours sitting in silence, still on their phones.

5) They become prone to cyberbullying.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Pew Research Center (2), Smart Social, and True List

  • 70% of surveyed teenagers report having cyberbullied someone. 
  • On the other hand, 33% to 50% of them say they have been cyberbullied.
  • 15% to 27% of them have been victims of misconceptions due to rumor spreading on social media.

6) They tend to be inefficient at work and in their studies.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Research Gate, Soocial, and True List

  • 55.9% of surveyed teenagers aged 13 to 18 years feel that their work efficiency decreases as their screen time increases.
  • 49% of them report that their academic performance is also affected. 
  • 75% of teachers agree with this, saying that their teenage students’ ability to focus on educational tasks also decreases.

How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Them?

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Interview Area, Meet Circle, Online Degrees, OSF Healthcare, Soocial, and Tech Advisor

If you have read our curation article about the recommended screen time for children, you might have noticed that almost every age has a different recommendation.

The case is different for adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. In fact, we don’t need to discuss a lot in this section as experts simply recommend only 2 hours of average screen time for teenagers. 

But take note that it only covers their recreational screen activities. Outside those hours, they are free to use the screen for homework and other educational tasks as necessary but with moderation.

As a Parent, How Can You Manage and Limit Your Teenager’s Screen Time?

1) Make a screen time plan.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Best Writing, Online Degrees, Tech Advisor, Very Well Family, and Very Well Mind

Make a schedule of your teen’s recreational screen activities.

Set them on vacant hours such that they won’t disturb work, study, family gatherings, and other important activities.

Along with this, set applicable rules and health precautions such as taking a 30-minute screen break before washing the face or taking a bath.

2) Monitor your teen’s screen activities.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Best Writing, High Speed Internet, and The Sweet Bits

You may think that your teen is no longer a child to be strictly monitored but he still needs supervision.

As a growing individual, he becomes curious about the things around him enough to explore them.

Also, peer pressure is strong during this stage. What he sees from his friends, he tries to imitate so as to belong and be on trend.

So, if his friends play violent games, watch pornographic videos, spread fake news on social media, among others, he is also likely to do the same.

This is why parental guidance is still advised.

Screen the content he is viewing, sharing, posting, playing, or whatnot. Also monitor how much time he consumes daily.

3) Prohibit the use of screened gadgets when necessary.

Heroes: no phones allowed
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Very Well Mind

Family mealtime, recreation, and related gatherings are an important time for bonding. You don’t want anything to spoil the fun.

So, as much as possible, have your teen set aside his gadgets unless they will be used to take photos, check weather forecasts, and other things that benefit your activity.

Finally, during bedtime, switch off and take away all screened gadgets so as not to disturb sleep and avoid brain damage caused by exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

In this regard, the American Academy of Pediatrics reminds us that screen time should not “take the place of adequate sleep.”

4) Let your teen enjoy activities outside the screen as well.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: Online Degrees, Tech Advisor, Very Well Family, and Very Well Mind

Life is more than just playing digital games, browsing social media, watching television, and other onscreen activities.

As such, encourage your teenager to exercise, play sports, play musical instruments, dance, join camps and retreats, and other physical and social activities.

With any of these activities, not only will he prevent developing health risks associated with excessive screen time but will also equip himself with practical skills.

5) Be a good role model.

Data Curation: A Case Study on How Much Average Screen Time is Recommended for Teenagers
Photo credit: Canva

Sources: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, JAMA Pediatrics, Online Degrees, and Very Well Mind

In an article for JAMA Pediatrics, Drs. Henry Radesky and Megan Moreno advise, “Remember that children watch and copy their parents so they are learning how to use smartphones even when parents do not realize it.”

As such, “avoid behaviors you don’t want your kids to have” such as “checking your phone while driving, posting unkind content, or ignoring someone else’s calls for your attention while your eyes are on the phone.”

Simply put, children learn more by example than by instruction. So, strive to do what you preach.

Let’s Summarize Everything!

1) Teenagers’ average screen time is up to 9.19 hours a day and up to 17.8 hours a week, as revealed by the following statistics:

  • During the pandemic, early teens in different countries, especially the US, spend an average of 7.7 hours a day on the screen.
  • Teenagers in the US alone spend 2.73 to over 4 hours of average screen time a day.
  • Teenagers from households with lower income in the US spend more time (about 9.2 hours a day) on the screen.
  • French teenagers’ average screen time is 1.52 to 3.33 hours daily and 17.8 hours weekly.

2) No gender generally spends more time on the screen since both outrank each other in certain activities, as confirmed by the following:

  • More teenage girls spend time browsing the Internet, engaging in social media, watching television, taking digital photos, and recording digital videos than teenage boys.
  • On the other hand, more teenage boys spend time watching online videos, playing video games, and using tablets than teenage girls.

3) The top 4 activities teenagers like to do during their screen time are as follows:

  • Social networking, as proven by up to 97% of teenagers who spend up to 26.72% of their screen time doing it
  • Watching or streaming videos, movies, and television shows, given its prevalence among up to 93% of teenagers who spend up to 39.02% of their screen time doing it
  • Playing online games, considering that up to 77% of teenagers spend 25% of their screen time doing it
  • Reading online news, which up to 62% of teens do

4) Mobile phone is what teenagers use most frequently during their screen time, given the following percentage of users and amount of time consumed:

  • Up to 81% of surveyed teenagers in Austria
  • Up to 67.11% of surveyed teenagers in Bangladesh
  • Up to 65% of surveyed teenagers in France
  • Up to 46% of surveyed US teenagers’ average screen time

5) Screen time benefits teenagers with the following:

  • Access to online news, health tips, and other information
  • Platforms to communicate with other people
  • Means to make online transactions
  • Entertainment

6) Excessive screen time results in the following risks:

  • Distraction and addiction
  • Physical health problems
  • Mental and psychological health issues
  • Social and emotional problems
  • Cyberbullying
  • Inefficiency at work and in studies

7) 2 hours is the average amount of daily screen time recommended for teenagers.

  • This covers only their recreational activities on the screen.
  • Outside such period, they are free to use the screen for educational tasks but with moderation.

8) To limit your teenager’s screen time, experts advise:

  • Making a screen time plan
  • Monitoring his screen activities
  • Restricting the use of screened gadgets when necessary
  • Encouraging him to engage in activities that don’t involve the screen
  • Being a good role model

We Want to Hear From You!

Is your teenager spending too much time on the screen?

What have you learned from this article that can possibly help manage this problem?

Share with us in the comments below.

Share this Post
GET THE LATEST NEWS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Heroes: Arrow Up