Teens are picking up their phones over 100 times a day, report says

Teenagers appear to be increasingly distracted by their cell phones. 

Common Sense, a nonprofit organization that promotes safety in the growing technology space, studied cell phone habits of hundreds of children from age 11 to 17.  The organization found that kids 13 and older picked up their phone, on average, over 100 times a day. 

Notifications were likely a major driver of teens paying close attention to their phones. The report found that more than half of the study’s participants received at least 237 notifications a day. Twenty-three percent of those notifications reportedly came during school hours. 

Teens aren’t always ignoring those notifications while in class, either. The report states that nearly all participants checked their phone at least once during the school day — for a median of 43 minutes. 

“This report makes it abundantly clear that teens are struggling to manage their phone use, which is taking a serious toll on their ability to focus and overall mental health,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. 

Limiting cell phone time appears easier said than done. More than 66% of those who participated in the study said they “sometimes” or “often” find it difficult to stop using their devices. 

TikTok was the most popular app used by the study’s participants. It was used, on average, for almost two hours a day. 

To combat the potentially dangerous addictive behavior among younger Americans, Common Sense has called for policymakers and industry experts to implement safety measures.

“Young people need more support from family members and educators, as well as clear guardrails from the technologists who are intentionally designing these devices to be addictive at the expense of kids’ well-being,” Steyer said.