Kit Steinkellner
November 05, 2015 7:46 am

Okay, so we knew teens were on their phones a lot, but we just found out the average amount of time teens spend with media every day and this stat, you guys, this stat . . .

As CNN reports, according to a report issued by Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of NINE HOURS a day using media for fun. Right, so that means we’re NOT counting the time they’re spending in front of their computers doing schoolwork (unless they’re only pretending to do their schoolwork and are actually just checking Facebook, in which case we are absolutely counting that time.)

You guys. NINE HOURS. That’s more time than teens spend at their high schools every day (unless they’re involved in, like, 12 extracurriculars). That’s more time than most adults spend at work. That’s more time than basically everyone spends sleeping. Nine hours is a LOT of time to spend watching movies and TV, checking social media, playing video games, reading on their screens and listening to music, but you gotta hand it to the kids, somehow they manage to carve out more than half the waking day to devote to their electronics.

According to the report, their preteen counterparts are spending less time with media but, real talk, not THAT much less — children 8 to 12 are spending six hours on average each day consuming media.

It’s important to note that not ALL this time is spent in front of screens. But a LOT of it is. Teens spend an average of six and a half hours a day consuming media via screens, whereas preteens spend an average of four hours.

The report revealed a few more interesting tidbits about teens and their media usage. Today’s young folk are big on multitasking with media: 60% of teens text while doing schoolwork, while 75% listen to music. Also two-thirds of teens don’t think watching TV or texting while doing homework affects the quality of their work, while over half of teens surveyed feel the same way about social media. (They are, of course, wrong on this count, so please turn off American Horror Story and stow your phone and get back to learning about the Magna Carta).

In terms of what types of media teens are prone to consume, watching TV and listening to music reign high as teens’ most beloved media activities. And even though we think of teens as being all about that Snapchat, only 10% of teens ranked social as their favorite media activity.

That said, there is definitely a gender divide: 62% of boys state that they enjoy playing video games “a lot” vs. only 20% of girls. Meanwhile, 44% of girls say they enjoy social media “a lot” vs. only 29% of boys. Which is probably why girls spend an average of an hour and a half on social media per day whereas boys spend an average of a little under an hour.

In addition to a gender gap, there’s also a class divide when it comes to media use. Only 54% of teens who live in households that bring in less than $35,000 a year have laptops vs. the 92% of teens who live in households that bring in over $100,000.

Still, 67% of teens own a smartphone, and 53% of tweens own a tablet. Tweens spend 41% of their screen time on their mobiles, and teens spend 46% of their screen time living la vida mobile.

We are gobbling up these stats like they’re candy, and are very much looking forward to Common Sense Media’s next study about the effects of digital addiction and distraction. Prediction: Teens are very distracted by/addicted to the digital, just like everyone else in modern life.

Related reading:

This study about adolescent romance reveals all kinds of teen texting secrets

Image via CBS Films

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