U.S. teens blasted by an average of 237+ texts per day
Oct 3, 2023, 6:00 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — Teens get a lot of texts each day. Their phones steal school instruction time away from them, but parents can still impose control over teens and their phones.
According to a new study by Common Sense Media and the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, more than half of the U.S. teens in the study received at least 237 notifications per day on their phones.
The study also found teens’ phones are their constant companions, checking them on average of more than 100 times per day.
“This is a fantastic move forward for ensuring that students are able to work, learn, and grow in a place free from the distracting influence of mobile phones,” Tom Bennett, a behavior-management adviser to the British Department for Education, said following the publication of guidelines, adding, “This is a positive and progressive step forward.”
Youth Council members who participated in the U.S. study explained that school policies around smartphone use are inconsistent and rules vary from classroom to classroom.
Teens and texts
With teen children, Dave knows how they operate their smartphones.
“I have seen my teens, and Debbie, so help me, it is constantly back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.”
Debbie asked a rhetorical question: Is this just the way teens communicate today and adults will have to accept it?
From her observations, she said:
- Teens will never talk on the phone — text only.
- Teens will never leave a voicemail. (They will assume you see the missed-phone call notification and return the call.)
The lack of face-to-face conversation drives her crazy, she said.
The study also found: During school hours, almost all of the participants used their phones at least once, for a median of 43 minutes, and more than six hours on the higher end.
Dave said he is not surprised by the statistic above. He said it illustrates Debbie’s point that that is how teens communicate today. They talk to their friends in a constantly flowing group text.
But he did say during family time, such as dinner or lunch, all phones are down on the table. He said the kids are good about respecting the rule, but now and again, one of then will sneak in a text, which may result in some Dad side-eye.
‘It almost sets you free’
“I feel like we’d all feel a lot better if we were on it less. When I lost my phone … I didn’t have a phone for a week, and that week was amazing,” said an 11th-grade Youth Council member. “Just not having a phone, it takes this weight off of you. It almost sets you free in a way.”
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