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Pew: U.S. Teens Use Social Media 'Almost Constantly'

Latest data comes just a month after a separate report shows social media is contributing to rising suicide rates among youth

Pew: U.S. Teens Use Social Media 'Almost Constantly'

The number of U.S. teens saying they spend time online “almost constantly” has doubled since 2015, according to new findings from Pew Research.

Social media dominates the online time of 13- to 17-year olds, according to a new survey from Pew, with YouTube being the most widely used application (roughly 90 percent report using the platform).

About 70 percent of teens say they watch YouTube daily, while 16 percent say they are on the site almost constantly.

Majorities of teens ages 13 to 17 say they use TikTok (63 percent), Snapchat (60 percent), and Instagram (59 percent), according to Pew’s survey. For teens ages 15 to 17, those percentages are about 70 percent.

Fifty-eight percent of teens report using TikTok daily, with 17 percent saying they use the app almost constantly.

Teen girls are more likely than boys to say they almost constantly use TikTok and Snapchat, while there are little to no differences in the number of boys and girls who use other platforms.

The survey also revealed differences by race and ethnicity, with larger numbers of black and Hispanic teens spending time on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, compared to their white counterparts.

Facebook and Twitter have seen dramatic drops in popularity among American youth, with the share of teens using those platforms plummeting from 71 percent in 2015 to just 33 percent today.

The data from this latest survey, which was conducted with 1,453 respondents between Sept. 26 - Oct. 23, comes amid ongoing discussion about teen mental health and the degree to which social media drives negative health outcomes.

Last month, researchers released data showing that high social media usage is driving the mental health decline among American youth.

According to the research brief from Gallup and the Institute for Family Studies, over roughly the past decade, suicide rates have doubled for girls and have increased 50 percent for boys.

That report found that the average U.S. teen spends 4.8 hours per day using social media. Nearly 30 percent of teens spend six hours or more using social media, researchers said.

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