A new report by the Pew Research Center on the use of social networks and the Internet indicates that American teenagers often spend time on virtual platforms, which is not a sensation or little expected news, but the choice of representatives of the younger generation in this matter deserves attention.
Almost 1,500 teenagers took part in the survey conducted by the mentioned organization. Among them, 93% say they use YouTube. For the second year in a row, this virtual platform has been the leader in teenagers’ preferences when choosing an Internet page filled with a variety of multimedia content for spending time.
Also in the survey, 63% of teenagers said they had interacted with TikTok. This virtual platform ranks second in the ranking of teenagers’ preferences regarding online activity.
Snapchat is in demand among 60% of respondents. Also, 59% of teenagers often interact with Instagram. Facebook is the preferred digital product in the social media space for 33% of respondents.
The share of those teenagers who reported a high level of involvement in the process of interacting with Internet platforms currently stands at 46%. This figure has almost doubled compared to the results obtained by Pew in 2015, when the first survey was conducted.
In the process of studying teenagers’ preferences in terms of interaction with virtual platforms, 1,453 Americans aged 13 to 17 were asked questions in the period from September 26 to October 23 of this year.
The Pew report notes that young people demonstrate a high level of activity on social networks, despite growing concerns about the impact of the Internet space on their mental and emotional state and safety.
Currently, there is something like a trend in litigation with the owners of virtual platforms in the United States. In this case, the most common claim is the impact of social networks on the consciousness of adolescents and the formation of their value system and concept of attitude to the world around them. Facebook and Instagram were sued last week by the Attorney General of New Mexico, accusing these virtual platforms of creating a favorable environment for those who harm children.
The activity of teenagers using Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter, according to the results of the Pew survey, decreased compared to 2015. As already mentioned, 33% of respondents, as mentioned above, interact with a social network that is part of the Meta’s digital ecosystem. In 2015, this figure was 71%. 20% of the respondents interacted with X. In 2015, 33% of teenagers used this social network.
Respondents aged 15 to 17 are more likely to interact with the most popular virtual platforms than those aged 13 to 14. This trend does not apply to YouTube. Among the 13-14-year-old survey participants, 94% interact with this virtual platform. Among adolescents aged 15 to 17, this figure is 92%.
Underage girls use Instagram more often than boys of that age group. In this case, the ratio is 66% vs. 53%. Girls are also more likely than boys to use TikTok (68% vs. 59%) and Snapchat (66% vs. 53%). In the case of other virtual platforms, a different ratio is observed. 96% of boys use YouTube compared to 91% of girls. In the case of X, a similar trend is recorded. The report shows that 21% of boys and 19% of girls interact with this social network. The same specificity is typical for Reddit. 18% of boys and 10% of girls interact with this virtual platform.
Online security experts have repeatedly expressed concerns about the impact of Instagram on young people. In this case, special attention is paid to the social comparison of users of the virtual platform. After that, Meta, which owns Instagram, released feature updates that prevent teenagers from ending up in mazes of content where their mental health could be harmed.
In recent years, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat have also developed and implemented solutions that are designed to protect young users from negative influences. In this case, the main tools are the default viewing time limit, parental control, and changing the recommendation system.
As we have reported earlier, Utah Sues TikTok.