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Smart phones have become an integral part of teenage life. Here are some facts and statistics on teen smart phone use:

  1. A 2007 survey of 5,000+ American teens found that 3 in 4 owned an iPhone. (Twenge, 2017)

  1. Nielsen surveys found that 13- to 17-year-olds who owned a smartphone averaged 1,742 text messages per month in 2008. A few months later this had jumped to 2,272 texts per month. It exceeded 2,500 by July 2009, and had jumped to 3,417 per month by 2011 – the equivalent of at least 7 messages per hour. (Stontz, 2015) These numbers continue to rise.

  1. 10% of teens are addicted to their smartphones. (Lopez-Fernandez et al., 2014)

  2. Many teens are so addicted to their phones they experience phantom pocket vibration syndrome…yes, that’s actually a thing. (Stein, 2013)

  1. 54% of teens admit to spending too much time on their cell phone. (Jargon, 5-15-2009)
  2. 70% of teens said they use their mobile device within 30 minutes of going to sleep, and 40% were active within 5 minutes of sleep. (Morris, 5-29-2019)
  3. More than a third of teens wake up in the middle of the night and check their devices, according to a survey by Common Sense Media, along with roughly a quarter of their parents. When teens wake up to check their phones, more than half the time it’s because they either receive a notification or want to peruse social media. (ibid)

How teens use their smart phone

Teens today tend to text on their phone more than they use it to make calls, and they spend much more time on its other features and apps as well. One study found adolescents primarily use their phones for the camera, MP3, and entertainment-related apps, as well as for accessing social networking sites. (Kim et al., 2014) They’ll often use their phones to avoid boredom or when they want to ignore other people. (Pew Research Center, 2015)

“It’s easy for smart phone use to get away from people, in that they end up spending more time with the device than they think they do. Kevin Holesh, founder of Moment, an app which tracks smartphone use, says “I guessed I was on my ph*ne for about an hour, but it ended up being two. I constantly hear that kind of underestimation of how much people use their phone, by about 10 percent. People expect the number to be half as much as it actually is.” (Detwiler, 2018)

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