Teenagers today check their smartphones frequently, many check social networks “constantly” and prefer to send texts that communicate face to face.
But in a new poll published on Monday, they declared that social networks have a positive effect on their lives, helping them to feel more confident, less alone and less depressed.
The survey was conducted by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group based in San Francisco focused on studying the use of young people in the media and technology. He found that 89% of them have their own smartphone, compared to 41% in 2012, the last time the survey was conducted.
Six years ago its Facebook presence was dominant, but it has plummeted in the last six years.Currently only 15% of young people say that this social network is the one they use the most. In 2012 it was 68%.
Now 44% of teens indicate that their main social network is Snapchat, followed by Instagram (owned by Facebook) with 22%.
The survey also found the following:
– The majority of adolescents _the 59% _ said that social networks do not influence how depressed they feel, 29% indicated that they feel less depressed, and 11% mentioned that depression increases. 39% said they feel less lonely, against 13% who say they feel more alone.
– 35% of teens said texting is their favorite way to communicate with their friends, compared to 33% in 2012. Only 32% indicated that speaking in person is the method they prefer to communicate, compared to 49% among the adolescents surveyed in 2012.
– Almost three-quarters of young people consider that technology companies manipulate people to spend more time watching their electronic devices, and more than half said that the use of social networks is often a distraction when doing homework.
– 64% of adolescents who use social networks said they have run into racist, homophobic or sexist content, or other intolerant content, either once in a while or frequently.
– 16% of adolescents use social networks “almost constantly”, while 19% never do.
– 13% of young people say they have been victims of cyberbullying. Meanwhile, almost a quarter have tried to help someone who has suffered cyberbullying by talking to them or reporting them to an adult.
– More than half said that their parents care a lot about social networks, while 46% think that parents would be much more worried if they knew what “really happens” online.
The survey was conducted in March and April among 1,141 young people aged 13 to 17 throughout the United States. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.