Your Child’s Social Media Exposure

kids gathering around tablet

Social media is a growing part of the everyday lives of most teens and tweens. I’m sure you’ve experienced a time or two when you couldn’t get your kids attention because of the conversation they were having with others on social media. For the typical teen, social media has become a time-sucking rabbit hole that they have dived into and takes up much more of their life than they realize. Take a look a some of the most current statistics regarding your teen’s social media.

The average teenager now spends 9-10 hours plugged into media. Two hours of that time is spent just on social media. Think of all of that time like this: if it takes your child two minutes to brush their teeth, then the amount of time they spend on social media is like brushing their teeth 60 times each day.

A study from the National Sleep Foundation revealed that the typical teenager is only getting 7 of the recommended 9 hours of sleep each night. If you take all the time your teen will spend on social media this month (60 hours), it is the equivalent of four nights of sleep.

Let’s look at it terms of your teen’s time here on planet earth. Over the course of one year, your teen will spend 730 hours on social media. If you took all of that time and they spent it on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter all at once, that is a little over 30 days out of each year just to look at social media. That means one-twelfth of your teens’ entire existence is for the purpose of talking to others on social media.

Lastly, think about your relationship with your teenager. How would you want to introduce Cyber Wellness? How much time would you say you spend in meaningful conversation with your teen each day? The average parent spends 8 minutes a day. Let’s be generous and give you 10. That means this year your teen will spend approximately

730 hours on social media
61 hours in conversation with parents

All this time in front of screens is eating into their availability for recreation, sports, study, or even real-world relationships with others. Maybe your immediate reaction is going to be to lecture your kids, “Get off that phone and go outside.” Lecturing only eats into your ten minutes a day in conversation with them. Instead, take some time this week to share these statistics with your teen in a normal conversation and ask a few questions that help them to monitor and adjust their own activities. Here are a few to get you started.

  1. Why do you think people get sucked into spending so much time on their phones?
  2. How do you get out of the social media rabbit hole once you’ve opened it?
  3. Would you be willing to get an extra hour playing video games, surfing the internet, chatting on social media, if it meant spending an extra hour in “family time” without screens?
  4. How could we do a better job in our family focusing on each other when we are together.

To learn more about the exposure that your child faces online, you can check out ZACHDEV – TECH PARENTING ebook today!