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04/07/2012 by

Research: How Teens View Their Digital Lives

A research study from Commonsense Media provides a snapshot of how U.S. teens experience the role of social media in their social and emotional lives.

Common Sense surveyed 1000 kids aged 13-17 to collect information, which seems like a small study for the US. But it is one that offers interesting insights into how kids view social media and themselves.

Using survey data from a nationally representative, probability-based sample of 13- to 17-year-olds, Commonsense Media addressed the following questions:


  • How often are teens texting and using Facebook and Twitter?
  • What are teenagers’ favorite ways to communicate with their friends and family?
  • How do teens think these new communications tools are affecting their friendships and family relations, if at all?
  • How does social networking make most teens feel about themselves and their relationships with their peers? Does it make them feel more connected or more isolated? Better about themselves, or more depressed and lonely?
  • How do the heaviest social media users compare to other teens in terms of their social and emotional well-being?

Here’s the result of the research (click on the infographic for a larger view):

Common Sense Media Founder and CEO James Steyer is also the author of “Talking Back to Facebook,” a guide to help parents and their children navigate today’s online landscape.

Check out below video about this book:

It’s interesting to see that 49% prefers communicating in person and that 33% communicates by text (wonder if that includes Whatsapp and similar text-apps as well, or just SMS).

What are your thoughts on the outcome of this research? Any parents out there that have a different look on how to understand, or even how you should raise your children?

Source: Commonsense Media


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Laurens Bianchi
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Comments (2)

  • Igor Beuker 05/07/2012, 10:16

    The part in the video RAP is interesting:
    R= relationships. A=attention and addiction and P=Privacy.

    On the P, I worry most for screenagers. Adults even understand what LinkedIn and Facebook will do with their personal data, which seems to be the new oil.

    Teens do not even have a clue what is the impact of their social visibiliy and no clue that personal data is the new oil…

    On the infographic I wouldn’t base my insights.
    The way the questions were asked, the outcome is not an eye-opener. Tweens hardly use Twitter for example..


    • Laurens 05/07/2012, 14:41

      And are not worried about the second A: addiction?
      Or are adults already addicted as well?

      I read another study once from the UK where scientist did a research on what would happen with teenagers if they had no access to their mobile phones for something like 48-72 hours…

      Some of them showed similar behaviour as drugs addicts have when they go cold turkey such as aggression…