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Curious about what teens do online? Wondering how they spend their time in cyberspace? Here are some facts and statistics that will give you a better idea about your teen’s online activities:

A study of more than 2,500 10th graders in public school found that the following percentage of adolescents engaged in these activities more than twice a day:

  • Checking social media sites: 54.1%
  • Texting: 52.1%
  • Browsing or viewing images or videos: 42.9%
  • Streaming or downloading music: 38.5%
  • Liking or commenting: 28.5%
  • Chatting online: 26.4%
  • Streaming television or movies: 25.2%
  • Playing video/web games alone: 18.0%
  • Reading online content: 17.7%
  • Playing video & web games with others: 15.3%
  • Sharing others’ web content: 12.8%
  • Posting own web content: 12.2%
  • Online shopping or browsing: 10.1%
  • Video chatting: 8.8% (Hernandez & Morris, 2018)


More information on what teens do online

1. According to one recent poll, more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day, and 22% of them log on to their favorite social media site more than 10-times a day. (Hellmich, 3-28-2011)

2. By 2018, 70% of teens said they used social media more than once a day, compared with just 34% 6 years prior. Additionally, 38% say they’re on social media multiple times an hour, and 16% say they use it almost constantly. (Morris, 9-11-2018)

3. For teens, watching online videos ranks second in enjoyment only to listening to music, and ahead of TV, video games and social media. (Jargon, 10-30-2019)

4. A survey of 884 teens ages 14-17 and 3,282 parents of teens found that more than a quarter of parents use a device to track or monitor their kids’ online activity, yet only 15% of teens thought their parents did this. The survey also found that 52% of parents think they have a pretty good handle on what their kids do online, compared to 30% of teens who say their parents are clued in to their online habits. “There’s a pretty big difference between parents who say they know and what kids say parents know,” says Michael Robb, director of research for Common Sense Media. (Molina, 2017)

5. One study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine that looked at what teens reveal about themselves online found that 41% mentioned substance abuse on their social media pages, 24% mention sex, and 14% talk about violence. (Szabo, 1-6-2009)

6. Girls are more likely than boys to mention significant others in the ‘About Me’ sections of their profiles, but boys are more reckless about social networking in general, posting information that could get them into trouble and caring less about whether their teachers see it. (Jabr, 2008)

7.A September 2018 Pew survey found that 59% of teens report being bullied. (Koh, 2018)


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