It’s obvious that today’s teens are major social media users.
It’s no surprise since adults are also virtually obsessed with social media as well.
However, we’re going to share information pertaining to what percentage of teens use social media in this article.
We’ll discuss the percentage of teens and social media usage, how teens use social media, and issues that can arise from teen social media usage.
We have researched and found the most recent data related to this subject and have put it all here for our readers.
Without further commentary, let’s get right into this subject.
- 75% of teens in America have active social media accounts.
- 51% of teenagers say they visit social media at least every day.
- 90% of teenagers from 13 to 17 have admitted to ever using social media.
- 95% of all teens use YouTube.
- YouTube is used by 97% of teen boys versus 92% of girls.
- TikTok is used by 73% of teen girls versus 60% boys.
- Over 50% of teens admit it would be hard to give up using social media.
What Percentage of Teens Use Social Media in 2023?
75% of teens in America have active social media accounts.
According to 2018 data from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 75% of teenagers aged 13 to 17 have used social media and have at least one active account.
Besides having active social media accounts, 90% of teenagers from 13 to 17 have admitted to ever using social media.
Moreover, of the teens that have at least one social media account, 51% say they visit social media at least every day.
(AACAP, CTRLCare, One World Education)
What Percentage of Teenagers Use Social Media According to Platform?
This is data was retrieved from the Pew Research Center in reference to the various social media platforms and teen usage.
We will also include data according to gender and race per platform.
Social Media Platforms Used by All Teens:
- 95% of all teens use YouTube.
- 67% of all teens use TikTok.
- 62% of all teens use Instagram.
- 59% of all teens use Snapchat.
- 32% of all teens use Facebook.
- 23% of all teens use Twitter.
- 20% of all teens use Twitch.
- 17% of all teens use WhatsApp.
- 14% of all teens use Reddit.
- 5% of all teens use Tumblr.
From this data, we can see that not all social media platforms are popular among teens, but YouTube tends to be the top platform among teenagers.
Social Media Platforms Used by Teens by Gender:
- YouTube: 97% boys vs 92% girls
- TikTok: 73% girls vs 60% boys
- Instagram: 69% girls vs 55% boys
- Snapchat: 64% girls vs 54% boys
- Facebook: 34% girls vs 31% boys
- Twitter: 24% boy vs 22% girls
- Twitch: 26% boys vs 13% girls
- WhatsApp: 18% girls vs 17% boys
- Reddit: 20% boys vs 8% girls
- Tumblr: 6% girls vs 4% boys
From this data we can surmise that teen girls use social media overall more than teen boys with a few exceptions.
For instance, boys use YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, and Reddit more than girls.
Social Media Platforms Used by Teens by Race/Ethnicity
In terms of race/ethnicity, this is how the demographics play out among teens.
- YouTube: 95% Hispanic, 94% White, and 94% Black
- TikTok: 81% Black, 71% Hispanic, and 62% White
- Instagram: 69% Black, 68% Hispanic, and 58% White
- Snapchat: 62% Hispanic, 59% Black, and 59% White
- Facebook: 34% Black, 32% Hispanic, and 32% White
- Twitter: 31% Black, 28% Hispanic, and 20% White
- Twitch: 22% Hispanic, 20% White, 18% Hispanic
- WhatsApp: 29% Hispanic, 19% Black, and 10% White
- Reddit: 16% White, 14% Hispanic, and 9% Black
- Tumblr: 6% Hispanic, 5% White, and 4% Black
Notice that there are some social platforms where one race dominates and others where it’s almost equal in percentages.
Furthermore, Urban settings have the highest teen social media usage over Suburban and Rural areas.
In terms of household income, teen social media usage is spread almost evenly across household income demographics between under $30,000 per year to over $75,000 per year.
How Much Do Teens Use Social Media?
Screen time unrelated to school tasks accounted for 7.7 hours per day post-pandemic.
Before the pandemic teens screen time outside of school was 3.8 hours per day.
We found more from Pew Research that reveals how much teens in the United States are on various social platforms (apps or websites).
- YouTube: 41% several times per day, 19% almost constantly, and 17% once per day. Some 12% said they use YouTube several times per week and 6% less often. Only 5% said they don’t use it at all.
- TikTok: 33% say they don’t use TikTok, 32% say they use it several times per day, and 16% say they use it constantly. Another 9% of teens said they use this platform once per day, 5% once per week, and 4% less often.
- Snapchat: 41% of teens say they don’t use this platform, 29% say they use it several times each day, 15% say they use it constantly, 7% use it once a day, 3% once per week, and 5% less often.
- Instagram: 38% of teens between 13 and 17 don’t use it, 27% use it several times a day, 12% use it once per day, 10% use it constantly, 7% use it several times per week, and 5% less often.
- Facebook: 67% of teens don’t engage on Facebook, 8% use it several times per day, 8% about once a day, 8% less often, 6% several times per week, and 2% constantly.
Further data from Pew Research shows that over 50% of teens admit it would be hard to give up using social media.
A reported 36% of teens admit to spending too much time on social media apps or sites.
In contrast, 55% of teenagers seem to think they spend just the right amount of time on social media and 8% claim they spend too little time on social media.
Teenaged girls (41%) who use social media are more apt to say they spend too much time using social media than boys (31%).
Likewise, teen girls (58%) are also more apt to admit that it would be harder for them to give up using social media than boys (49%).
The survey revealed that older teenagers are more likely to admit to social media being hard or somewhat hard to quit using social media than younger teenagers.
In fact, 58% of those 15 to 17 admitted that it would be very difficult or somewhat difficult to give up using social media. However, 48% of those 13 to 14.
(Pew Research, Smart Social)
How Do Teens See the Impact of Using Social Media?
Pew Research Center’s survey revealed that teens are more apt to admit that social media has had a negative impact on others than on themselves.
For instance, 32% said that social media has had a significantly negative effect on others in their age group, but only 9% would admit it’s had a negative impact on them.
Here is how that data looks:
- Impact on people their age: 24% said mostly positive, 45% neither negative nor positive, and 32% mostly negative.
- Impact on them personally: 32% mostly positive, 59% neither negative nor positive, and 9% mostly negative.
It’s not unusual for any of us to see how things affect others, but not ourselves.
Why Do Teens Use Social Media?
Just like any of us who use social media, teenagers have their purposes for using social sites or apps.
Here are some of the reasons teens use social media, which are also the benefits.
- Staying in contact with friends and family.
- Meeting new friends with shared hobbies or interests.
- Finding support and a community for activities they find interesting.
- Sharing their art, music, or crafts.
- Self-expression and general exploration.
Teenaged girls are more apt to claim that social media makes them feel supported, yet also overwhelmed by drama, and even excluded by their friends.
Here are the positive and negative experiences addressed in the survey and the responses by gender.
- 83% of girls feel more connected to their friends while 76% of boys feel the same.
- 77% of girls say they like having a space where they can openly reveal their creative side compared to 64% of boys who feel the same.
- 72% of teen girls like that they can get support from friends and people on social media when they are going through rough times versus 62% of boys who feel this way.
- 61% of teen girls say they feel more accepted on social media compared to 54% of boys.
- 45% of teenage girls say they feel overwhelmed by drama while 32% of teen boys using social media say the same thing.
- 37% of teen girls feel like their friends leave them out compared to 24% of teen boys.
- 32% of girls feel pressure to post content that gets a lot of likes and comments compared to 27% of teen boy responses.
- 28% of teen girls say they feel worse about their own lives from using social media, but only 18% of teen boys feel this way.
Overall, teenaged girls are more likely to share their experiences, negative and positive, than teen boys on social media.
An overwhelming percentage of teens who use social media believe that bullies and abusive people on social media should be banned or even be criminally charged with crimes.
This data is related to people on social media harassing others on various platforms.
50% of teenagers responding to the survey overwhelmingly said that it would help a lot towards reducing cyberbullying teenagers on social media to charge them with crimes or ban them.
Another 32% said they think it would help a little and 17% felt it would make no difference.
Some other things that teenagers felt would help reduce social media harassment and cyberbullying included:
- Permanently locking users out of their accounts for bullying or harassing others. 50% of teens felt it would help a lot.
- Deleting posts on social media that appear to be bullying or harassing. 42% of teens said they felt it would help a lot.
- Making it a requirement for users to use their real names and pictures on social media. 37% of teenage respondents felt this would help a lot.
- School districts to monitor social media activities of students in their own districts. 30% of teenagers felt this option would help reduce cyberbullying
What Are Some Risks of Teen Social Media Usage?
Unfortunately, just like social media can be beneficial to teenagers, it can also be detrimental to them.
Let’s look at what we learned about the negative impact social media can have on teens.
Here are some of the risks you need to know:
- Sleep disturbances
- Interference with homework, family time, and exercise
- Data collection and privacy concerns
- Cyber bullying that can result in depression or even suicide
- Exposure to inappropriate and/or harmful content
- Oversharing their personal life and information
- Potential exposure to dangerous people
- Overexposure to advertisements
- Potential of getting hacked or identity theft concerns
The wisest thing parents can do is to limit social media usage and monitor what their teen is doing without being overly restrictive.
We need to protect our children, but not be overbearing. That’s a thin line to walk.
We also put together a few tips to help you reduce your teen’s usage of social media:
- You can start by following or friending your teen on social media (you can agree to not post or respond to posts accordingly).
- Restrict screen time during mealtimes, certain times during the day, restrict social media usage unless they have chores or homework done, or veto screen use in their bedrooms when you’re not around.
- Turn off location services unless it’s needed for your purposes.
- Look for apps that limit internet connectivity.
- Educate your teenagers about what to share and what not to share via social media.
Naturally, these tips are subject to parental discretion according to factors like the teen’s age and level of maturity.
Now we know that the majority of teens in the United States use social media a lot.
We have the data for daily, weekly, and constant usage and the sources that confirm that data.
We have included some tips about how to reduce social media usage for your teens to protect them without smothering them.
It’s worth mentioning again that there is a fine line between protecting and smothering teenagers.
We hope you feel more informed about what percentage of teens use social media.