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Aug 31, 2015
Just about every teenager is active online now. According to a recent study, 92% of teenagers use the internet daily. A quarter of those teens say that they are “constantly” using the internet. With so many teens using the internet, many parents are asking how much time on the internet is too much.
One of the main reasons teens are spending so much time on the internet is the prevalence of cell phones. Three quarters of teens who use the internet daily have access to the internet on their smartphone. Most teens will spend their internet time on sites such as YouTube or Facebook, or using apps on their phone that require internet connections, such as Snapchat.
Most parents have a hard time keeping up with the advances in technology that their teens are using. Just when parents begin to understand and start following what their children are doing, teens are already on to the next big app that they’re using. In order to help parents monitor what their children are doing on the web, parents should maintain communication with their teens about what apps they have on their phone and what websites they are visiting.
The ways that teens use the internet varies greatly for each kid. For example, most girls use the internet for social media sites such as Facebook or Snapchat. Boys, on the other hand, spend more time watching videos on apps like Vine, or playing video games. Kids also use the internet as a form of text messaging. Teens have gone away from traditional text messaging and have started using apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to communicate with each other.
There are always downsides to using the internet too much, especially for teens. Teens could get involved in pornography and sexting and a young age, causing negative consequences for the teen. Excessive internet use also hampers a teen’s ability to develop interpersonal relationship skills. Parents should limit the amount of time that teens spend on the internet. Some parents may opt for allowing their child to have more time on the internet, while some may restrict it to a shorter amount of time. Every teen is different, so parents should communicate with their children about what is an appropriate amount of time on the internet.
** The information used in this article is from the Richmond Register – Social media use and teens