Teens From Low Income Families Spend More Time On Smartphones

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Children aged 13-18 from families with low income spend more time on screen media like smartphones and tablets compared to those from parents with higher annual earnings. A new study done by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco based Non-Profit organization, has found this, examining the effects of screen media and technology on families and education.

The research finds that kids, aged 13 to 18, from families with an annual income of $35,000 or less spend 8.5 hours per day on smartphones, tablets etc. playing video games, watching videos or TV shows. On the other hand, teens from parents with incomes over $100,000 annually spend about six hours and 49 minutes using screen media.

The same situation is found among tweens (age 8-12) as well. The study has shown that while tweens from poor families spend around six hours on mobile devices, this time is about four hours for tweens with rich parents.

But what things do teens do with their mobile devices? The study has found that children spend majority of their screen time on watching videos or TV shows. In other words, the most popular activity among both age groups is watching videos. And video game is their second most popular activity on smartphones or tablets.

The research also finds, of the time teens spend on mobile devices, sixteen percent is given on social media, compared to just four percent for tweens. This scenario is applicable to children from all income brackets.

What’s the reason behind that? According to researchers, screen media activities are very much affordable by children from low income families. As lead researcher Vicky Rideout says, ‘For lower-income users, screen media are highly affordable activities compared to so many other options in their lives that cost money.’

Then what’s the right amount of screen time for teenagers? As per a recent study by San Diego State University, the happiest teenagers are those who limit their daily digital media time to slightly less than two hours a day. Unhappiness among teens rises steadily with increasing screen time. Source : Mail Online

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