Over 20% Of Teens Spend 4 Hours On Social Media Daily


3 min read

Posted by Gerard Kiely on November 26, 2018

Over 20% Of Teens Spend 4 Hours On Social Media Daily

This is the first in a three-part series of blog posts taken from a report written by Charlotte, a Transition Year student on work experience here at Arekibo. Charlotte investigated the relationship teenagers have with social media and technology and surveyed her school year group (girls aged fifteen to sixteen) and compiled the report based on the responses. In this post, Charlotte focuses on teenagers use of social media and some of the advertising methods aimed at reaching her school year peer group. 

Social media has become a significant part of the lives of teenagers, with the majority of teens spending two or more hours on social media platforms each day, and with around one fifth of the teens I surveyed spending over four hours on social media per day. This means over 20 per cent of the teens spent the equivalent of two thirds of the average school day hours on social media daily. In addition to this, many of the respondents check their social media over nine times every day. The peak time for social media use during weekdays was after 6:30pm, while during weekends and holidays this changed to the middle part of the day. 

The preferred social media platforms were Snapchat and Instagram, with a significantly higher usage rates than Facebook or Twitter. 

Most of the respondents feel that the amount of time they spend on social media has no impact on their social skills. However, just under a quarter of the teens felt that the fact they spend so much time on social media has a positive impact on their social skills since they spend much of their time interacting with their friends through social media. Around 15% of those surveyed felt that their time on social media has negatively influenced their social and communication skills, because it takes away from the time that they spend chatting face-to-face with their friends and family. 

Many of the people I surveyed find that they compare themselves to others more often while using social media. The comparison that takes place on social media occurs when teens compare their own lives to what the lives of their peers look like based on their posts, or even comparing the amount of likes or views that they have had to what somebody else has had. 

Search engines, social media platforms, apps, and websites make most of their money through advertising. These include Instagram, Snapchat and Google.  

As Jim Xi Johnson explained in his report, effective ways to reach teenagers on social media are through the use of sponsorship, online competitions or viral videos.  

These methods among others can be extremely effective in grabbing the attention of teenagers, however, only when used on the right social media platforms. 

I asked my year to rank the following in order of most frequently used: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter; YouTube, LinkedIn, Other.  

I did this in order to get an idea of where advertisements aimed at teens would be best placed. 

The results were as follows: 

  1. Snapchat 

  1. Instagram 

  1. YouTube 

  1. Facebook 

  1. Twitter 

  1. Other 

  1. LinkedIn

These results indicate the platforms that teens use the most, and hence the platforms that advertising would be most effective on.  

I also asked them how often they felt they were influenced by advertising on social media, and the majority of my year chose the response labelled “sometimes.” 

As Snapchat and Instagram are more used by teens than any other social media platforms, Charlotte focussed mainly on advertising on these two platforms in the full report. 

The second part of this series will focus on addition and cyberbullying.

About the Author

Gerard Kiely
Gerard Kiely

Gerard is a project manager at Arekibo with an interest in content strategy.