It shouldn’t come as any big surprise that teen usage of social media is on the rise and has been since the global pandemic.
In this article, we will be revealing the answer to the question, “How much time do teens spend on social media?
We will also discuss this topic from various points of view and how it affects teenagers.
You will also learn some global data about teens using social media and other demographic-centric data like age range and gender.
Some of this data may surprise you, but it’s confirmed by surveys, studies, and research from reliable sources.
Let’s talk teens and social media
- An estimated 90% of teens across the globe use social media.
- In the United States, an estimated 75% of teenagers have at least one active social media account.
- 38.16% of teenagers spend at least eight hours on social media per day.
- 13-year-old teens say they check their social accounts at least 100 times per day.
- 68.44% of teenagers surveyed said that teens are more engaged on social media.
- 95% of teens are on YouTube the most according to surveys.
How Much Time Do Teens Spend on Social Media?
Teens literally spend hours on social media every day.
In fact, 38.16% of teenagers spend at least eight hours on social media per day.
Also, 13-year-old teens say they check their social accounts at least 100 times per day.
Moreover, 13.39% responded that they spend between 7 and 8 hours on social media and 11.59% said they spend 5 to 8 hours.
It’s worth noting that most of them spend over 8 hours on social media (38.16%).
Only 6.10% said they spend less than an hour on social media and 8.34% said between 1 and 2 hours.
In 2021, the average teenagers spent an estimated 8 hours and 39 minutes on screen time per day.
In 2015, that data was 6 hours and 40 minutes.
While teenage screen time was bound to increase, it’s believed the global pandemic played a role in the rise.
An estimated 90% of teens across the globe use social media.
In the United States, an estimated 75% of teenagers have at least one active social media account by the time they are 17 years old.
Teenagers themselves admit that they engage in social media a lot.
In fact, 68.44% of teenagers surveyed said that teens are more engaged on social media than other demographic groups.
YouTube became the preferred social platform among teenagers in 2022 in the United States.
In fact, 95% of teenagers in America used YouTube in 2022 to view or upload videos on the platform.
More time spent on social media apps by teens in the United States includes this data from Statista in 2022:
- Teens in the United States spent an average of 113 minutes per day on TikTok.
- Teens in the United States spent an average of 90 minutes per day on Snapchat.
- Teens in the United States spent an average of 20 minutes per day on Pinterest.
- Teens in the United States spent an average of 18 minutes per day on Facebook.
- Teens in the United States spent an average of 13 minutes per day on Reddit.
- Teens in the United States spent an average of 10 minutes per day on Twitter.
This is just time spent on the apps and doesn’t include time spent on other devices or web browsers.
(CTRLCare, Exploding Topics, Pew Research, Real Researcher, Statista, Stomp Out Bullying, The Small Business Blog)
How Much Time Do Teenagers Spend on Social Media by Platform?
We can’t just let it slide that teens have specific social media platforms that keep them busy for hours at a time, can we?
This section will list how much time teenagers are spending on specific social media platforms (sites or apps).
Most teenagers use YouTube significantly more than other social platforms according to 2022 data.
Here’s the list and the percentages of teen usage per platform as of 2022:
- YouTube: 95%
- TikTok: 67%
- Instagram: 62%
- Snapchat: 59%
- Facebook: 32%
- Twitter: 23%
- Twitch: 20%
- WhatsApp: 17%
- Reddit: 14%
- Tumblr: 5%
Some of these percentages have changed since 2014-2015:
- Instagram: 52%
- Snapchat: 41%
- Twitter: 33%
- Tumblr: 14%
Notice the significant drop on Facebook.
Not as many teenagers are using Facebook these days.
They are using YouTube and Instagram the most according to this recent data.
How Often are Teens on Social Media?
In this section, we will investigate how often teens admit to being on social media, which relates to how much they use these platforms.
The 2022 Pew Research survey revealed what teenagers say in terms of how much they are on social media.
We’ll explore the top five platforms.
- Almost Constantly: 19%
- Several Times Per Day: 41%
- Once Per Day: 17%
- Several Times Per Week: 12%
- Less Often: 6%
- Do Not Use: 5%
- Almost Constantly: 16%
- Several Times Per Day: 32%
- Once Per Day: 9%
- Several Times Per Week: 5%
- Less Often: 4%
- Do Not Use: 33%
- Almost Constantly: 15%
- Several Times Per Day: 29%
- Once Per Day: 7%
- Several Times Per Week: 3%
- Less Often: 5%
- Do Not Use: 41%
- Almost Constantly: 10%
- Several Times Per Day: 27%
- Once Per Day: 12%
- Several Times Per Week: 7%
- Less Often: 5%
- Do Not Use: 38%
- Almost Constantly: 2%
- Several Times Per Day: 8$
- Once Per Day: 8%
- Several Times Per Week: 6%
- Less Often: 8%
- Do Not Use: 37%
This data comes from a survey of over 2,000 teens who use social media aged 13 to 17.
No data is shown for participants who didn’t give an answer.
Also, look at the gigantic difference between the top four and Facebook.
How Do Teens View Their Social Media Usage?
We are using a lot of Pew Research data because it’s so current, accurate, reliable, and thorough.
We hope you think so as well.
Let’s look at what Pew uncovered about social media usage from the teenagers’ point of view.
Among U.S. teenagers surveyed, this is how they responded to these options:
The overall amount of time spent on social media is…
- Too Much 36%
- About Right 55%
- Too Little 8%
In terms of gender:
- Too Much 31%
- About Right 61%
- Too Little 8%
- Too Much 41%
- About Right 50%
- Too Little 8%
In terms of age group:
- Too Much 28%
- About Right 63%
- Too Little 9%
- Too Much 42%
- About Right 50%
- Too Little 8%
From this data, we can make an informed guess that teenage girls are more apt to admit they use social media too much and the same holds true for older teenagers.
How Hard Do Teens Say It Would Be to Quit Social Media?
We will now look at what teenagers say about the challenge of quitting social media.
U.S. Teens Overall 54% Hard vs 46% Easy
- Very Hard 18%
- Somewhat Hard 35%
- Somewhat Easy 26%
- Very Easy 20%
Do you think these teenagers were being realistic and honest with themselves in their responses?
U.S. Teen Boys vs Girls
- Very Hard 14% Boys vs 22% Girls
- Somewhat Hard 34% Boys vs 36% Girls
- Somewhat Easy 26% Boys vs 27% Girls
- Very Easy 25% Boys vs 15% Girls
U.S Teenagers by Age Group
- Very Hard 16% 13-14 vs 20% 15-17
- Somewhat Hard 32% 13-14 vs 37% 15-17
- Somewhat Easy 27% 13-14 vs 26% 15-17
- Very Easy 25% 13-14 vs 16% 15-17
Do you find this data telling in terms of overall, gender, or age group?
What are the Teen Demographics for Social Media?
We are going to investigate the demographics of teens spending time on social media.
This is directly related to the figures for how much time they spend on social platforms.
Gender: Top 5 Social Platforms
- 97% YouTube
- 60% TikTok
- 55% Instagram
- 54% Snapchat
- 31% Facebook
- 92% YouTube
- 73% TikTok
- 69% Instagram
- 64% Snapchat
- 34% Facebook
As you can see from this data, teenaged girls spend more time on social media than teenaged boys do.
Age Group: Top 5 Platforms
- 94% YouTube
- 61% TikTok
- 45% Instagram
- 51% Snapchat
- 23% Facebook
- 95% YouTube
- 71% TikTok
- 73% Instagram
- 65% Snapchat
- 39% Facebook
Notice the differences between the younger teens who use Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook much less than older teens.
What are Teenagers Doing on Social Media?
Now let’s explore what teenagers are doing on social media these days.
Here are some things we gathered from one of Australia’s popular parenting websites, Raising Children.
Most of the time spent on social media among teens and pre-teens involves using it as their founders intended and that’s to have fun.
Let’s look at the things teens commonly do on social media:
They use social media to maintain existing friendships and to make new friends.
- Teens love to share their interests with others and learn new things.
- Developing relationships with family is part of their social media fun.
- Older teens use social media as their main method of connecting with keeping up with their friends.
- Basically, teenagers use social media as an extension of their in-person engagements.
Social media can be beneficial when it’s used properly and in moderation.
For instance, it can help your teen learn new things that help them with their schoolwork.
Also, they can expand their interests and hobbies.
It’s important to realize that creating social profiles, video content, and images is creative, which taps into your teen’s creative mind.
Gaming is another creative thing teens do on social media.
They also make game modifications because they are learning coding.
It can also be good and mentally healthy for teens to stay connected with their extended families and friends.
How is Spending So Much Time on Social Media Impacting Teenagers?
As we mentioned, spending time on social media (or screen time) has its benefits.
However, with the benefits comes some downsides that you need to know.
- Social media is full of inappropriate, aggressive, violent, sexual, and otherwise upsetting content that teens shouldn’t see. They don’t need that exposure.
- Teenagers have been known to upload their own inappropriate content to social media which comes with its own issues of who sees it and how friends and family react to it.
- Educate your teens to prevent them from oversharing their personal information like where they live, their birthday or other personal data that can be seen by people who are not so nice.
- Cyberbullying shouldn’t be a thing, but it is. This is another thing your teens shouldn’t have to cope with on social media.
- Cybersecurity is important, so when your teens are using social media for hours at a time, it can put them at risk for having their data stolen and other nefarious data breaches.
You can avoid most problems that can be caused by social media by talking to your teens and preteens about cybersecurity, internet safety, online etiquette, risking behavior, and other risks involved as social media and internet usage among preteens and teens continues to rise.
Don’t let your teen become a risky statistic of the internet or social media.
After reading this data, we find that teenagers spend a lot of time on social media.
We already know they spend a lot of time online using their smartphones.
Now we know they also spend a lot of time on social media.
Most teens are actively connecting with friends and family on various social outlets.
They also play games together and make new friends.
Due to the risks of being online and on social media, parents should talk to their teens about using discretion and being cautious online and on social media.
After reading all this information, we want to recommend that parents take an active role in how, when, where, and how much they use social media.
This is a recommendation we have seen in multiple resources from medical and mental health professionals.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this article.
You know have a very good idea of how much time teenagers spend on social media.
Hopefully, we answered the question, “How much time do teens spend on social media,” to your satisfaction.