New research suggests that nearly half of American teens say they “almost” use the internet constant.”
The US-based Pew Research Center published a study this month. It found that the proportion of teens who say they are online almost all the time has increased to 46 percent from 24 percent in 2015.
The findings were based on an opinion poll conducted by Pew from April 14 to May 4. 1,316 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 took part in the study.
The study found that about 95 percent of American teenagers own smartphones.
The study also asked young people about their social media behavior. It found that the number of teens using Facebook has fallen to 32 percent, down from 71 percent in 2015.
Research shows that teenagers have moved away from Facebook to spend time on video-sharing services YouTube and TikTok. About 95 percent of teens said they use Google-owned YouTube, while 67 percent said they use TikTok.
About 62 percent of teens said they use Instagram, which is owned by Facebook parent company Meta. About 59 percent said they use Snapchat. Less than a quarter of teens reported using Twitter.
“A quarter of teens who use Snapchat or TikTok say they use those apps almost all the time, and a fifth of teen YouTube users say the same,” the study found.
The research found that teenage boys are more likely to use YouTube or the services Twitch and Reddit than teenage girls. Teenage girls were more interested in using TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. Additionally, higher proportions of Black and Hispanic teens reported using TikTok, Twitter, and WhatsApp compared to White teens.
About 54 percent of teens surveyed said giving up social media would be “a little hard” while 46 percent said it would be “a little easy.” About 25 percent of teens said it would be “very easy” to give up social media. But only 15 percent of teenage girls said the same thing.
Experts on online tech behavior have accused big tech companies of targeting teenagers using methods to get them to spend more time on their social media services. A method used algorithms repeatedly suggesting content to keep users on the Services longer.
Children’s rights groups and members of the US Congress have warned that heavy use of social media services can be harmful to young users’ mental health. They have urged big tech companies to take action to mitigate such damage.
Several services — including Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok — launched features which they say should make their services safer and more suitable for young users.
The tools offer some assistance, e.g. B. Blocking unknown people from sending messages to children. However, experts say the measures also have weaknesses. For example, teenagers can bypass boundaries by lying about their age. The services also depend largely on parents to enforce rules. And the measures do little or nothing to limit it inappropriate and harmful material suggested by algorithms.
“This platforms know that their algorithms can sometimes be amplifying harmful content and they are taking no steps to stop it,” said Irene Ly. She is a privacy consultant at the non-profit group Common Sense Media, based in San Francisco, California. Ly said the more teenagers keep scrollthe more they engage in the services.
She added that the longer teenagers spend on the services, the more profitable tech companies become. “I don’t think they have too much Attraction change that,” Ly said.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English based on reports from the Pew Research Center, The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.
words in this story
constant – adj. happens often or all the time
quarter -n. a quarter of something
algorithm – n. a series of steps followed to solve a math problem or complete a computer process
special feature – n. a characteristic or important part of something
inappropriate – adj. not appropriate or correct for a particular situation
platform -n. a business or service that enables someone to tell a large number of people about an idea or product
strengthen – v. to make a feeling or an opinion stronger or clearer
scroll – v. to move text or an image on a computer screen to get to a part you want to see
Attraction -n. something that encourages a person to do something or to work harder
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