SAN FRANCISCO – A landmark report released today by Common Sense Media finds that teenagers (ages 13-18) use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day and that tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours a day, not including time spent using media for school or homework.
Despite the significant amount of time teens and tweens spend with media, not all young people use media in the same way. The study, Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, found that race, class and gender all play a role in how kids are likely to consume media. The report identifies a significant digital equality gap between low-income kids who are far less likely to have access to computers, tablets and smartphones than their wealthier peers. However, those low-income kids who do have access are more likely to spend more time on their devices than kids from more affluent families.
Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens also finds major differences in media preferences between boys and girls. For example, teen boys average 56 minutes a day playing video games, compared to girls’ 7 minutes and teen girls spend 40 minutes more a day than boys on social media (1:32 vs. 52 minutes).
Black youth report spending substantially more time with media than white or Hispanic youth. For example, among teens, blacks use an average of 11:10 worth of media a day, compared to 8:51 among Hispanics and 8:27 among whites (a difference of 2:19 between blacks and Hispanics, and 2:43 between blacks and whites).