Social Media, Social Life: A New Common Sense Media Report

Common Sense Media has released a 2018 report on teens and their social media habits, called Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences, an update of a report originally produced in 2012. You will need to create a free account in order to access the full report, but you can read this article, written by Caroline Knorr, aimed at parents without logging in: “What teens really think about their social media lives.” In particular, this article points out eight different strategies for parents who want to support their teens as they navigate the omnipresence of social media in their lives.

Here are some key take-aways from the full report:

• 81% of teens use social media, with 70% saying they use it multiple times a day, up from 34% in 2012. And 89% have their own smartphone, more than doubling since 2012.

• The proportion of teens who prefer in-person interaction has dropped from 49% in 2012 to 32% in 2018. Texting is now the favorite mode of communication.

• 57% of teens using social media say that it distracts them when they should be doing homework.

• 29% of teen smartphone users have been woken up by their phones during the night by a call, text or notification.

• 33% of teens say they wish their parents would spend less time on their devices, up from 21% in 2012.

Educators may want to read this article by Jeff Knutson: “What new research on teens and social media means for teachers.”