Oct. 13 (UPI) — Just over half of U.S. teens said in a Gallup Poll published Friday that they spend at least 4 hours a day on social media sites such as Tok Tok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and X.
Gallup found 51% of teens averaged 4.8 hours a day.
“Across age groups, the average time spent on social media ranges from as low as 4.1 hours per day for 13-year-olds to as high as 5.8 hours per day for 17-year-olds,” Gallup said in a statement. “Girls spend nearly an hour more on social media than boys (5.3 vs. 4.4 hours, respectively).”
The data is from Gallup’s Familial and Adolescent Health Survey conducted June 26-July 17. Data was collected from 6,643 parents and 1,591 adolescents who were the children of those parents.
YouTube and TikTok were teen favorites, according to the poll.
The poll took a look at individual personality traits of teen social media users. Those “Big 5 personality traits” include conscientiousness, which pertains to self-control and self-regulation.
The poll found that least conscientious teens spent an average of 1.2 hours on social media than teens who are highly conscientious.
With declining teen mental health, Gallup said scholars like social psychologist Jonathan Haidt have studied social media’s role and impacts on teen lives.
According to Gallup, teens who spend more time on social media rate themselves as less conscientious and have parents less likely to restrict social media time. And those characteristics tend to predict poor mental health.
Gallup’s teen social media use poll also showed that when parents “strongly agree” that they restrict screen time, teens spend on average 1.8 hours less time per day on social media.
Gallup said parental restrictions on teen social media time is closely related to political ideology. The poll found 41% of very conservative parents strongly agree that they restrict screen time while just 26% of conservative parents and 23% of moderate, liberal or very liberal parents agree.