Pew: Teens, Parents Concerned About Screen Time

Roughly half of U.S. teens (52%) are taking steps to cut back on their mobile phone use, as well as use of social media (57%) and video games (58%).

At least that was the finding of a new Pew Research Center report, which polled 743 teens.

And when the question is directed to the teen population as a whole, rather than to their own particular habits, teens are almost unanimously concerned. Almost nine-in-ten teens see spending "too much time online" as a problem facing their age group, while 60% say it is a "major" problem.

Related: YouTube Crushes Facebook Among Teens

Parents are similarly worried, according to a separate survey.

Pew polled over 1,000 parents of teens and found that almost two thirds (65%) said they were concerned about their teens' screen time, with 57% saying they had set screentime limits in some way. (Both surveys were conducted March 7-April 10, 2018).

But it is also a case of "physician heal thyself" for parents. More than a third of parents (36%) said they spend too much time in front of their own screens. Teens agreed, with 51% saying they sometimes or often find their parents or caregivers to be distracted while they are trying to talk to them.

"Teens" is defined as ages 13-17, and “parents” have at least child in that age group.The margin of error is 5 percentage points for 743 teen respondents and 4.5 percentage points for the 1,058 parents.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.