A new nationally representative survey of American teenagers age 13-17 finds that teens have shifted their favored social media platforms and are now most likely to use Instagram and Snapchat. The study by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also found that while almost all teens -- 91 percent -- use the regular text messaging tool on their mobile phones, 40 percent of teens also use messaging applications like Kik, WhatsApp, or Line on a smartphone.
Key survey findings include:
The survey also found that black teens are more active on social media and messaging apps than their white peers. Historically, black teens report greater smartphone use than white teens, and are now more likely to use social media platforms optimized for mobile phones. Key findings from the survey on black teens include:
The study also finds that tablet access surpasses use of desktop computers among American teens, with 54 percent of youth having access to a desktop, compared with 68 percent of teens having access to a tablet computer. Laptops (80 percent) and smartphones (89 percent) are the most common devices that teens use to access the internet.
"Understanding how teenagers use devices like tablets, desktops, and laptops may seem like old news," said Amanda Lenhart, senior research scientist at The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, and a co-author of the report. "But the varying degrees of access of different groups to these platforms have implications for education and future facility with tech tools, including those needed for the workplace."
About the Survey
This survey was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and with funding from NORC at the University of Chicago. Interviews for this survey were conducted between December 7 and December 31, 2016, with teenagers age 13-17 representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Adult panel members were randomly drawn from AmeriSpeak, and after confirming that there were children of the appropriate age in the household, permission was sought from a parent or guardian to survey a teenager. If a given panelist had multiple teens at home, one teen was randomly selected to participate. Completed interviews were conducted with 790 teenagers, 739 via the web and 51 via telephone. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish, depending on respondent preference.
Cite This Page: