Young Parents Feel They’re Spending Too Much Time on Social Media and Smartphones

August 20, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Men | Mobile Phone | Social Media | Women | Youth & Gen X

PewResearch Parents Too Much Time Mobile Social Aug2020Some 65% of young parents feel that they spend too much time on their smartphone, with this group also being most likely to believe they spend too much time on social media, according to recent data from Pew Research Center. The report explores the pressures parents are feeling related to social media and smartphone usage, including views on the ‘sharenting’ phenomenon.

Of the more than 3,600 US parents surveyed in March this year, nearly 6 in 10 (56%) said they spend too much time on their smartphone, compared to the 36% who think they spend about the right amount of time on their device.

However, when breaking down smartphone and social media use by demographic, some groups are more concerned about their usage than others. When it comes to smartphones, younger parents (age 18-29) – who are also typically early tech adopters – are the most likely to believe that they spend too much time on their phone (65%), followed by moms (61%), white parents (60%), and parents with some college education (60%).

When asked the same about social media respondents painted a similar picture, with younger parents again being most likely to believe that they spend too much time on such platforms (49%). This was again followed by moms (44%), those with some college education (41%) and white parents (40%).

The “Sharenting” Phenomenon

The modern habit known as “sharenting”, that is, parents posting and sharing photos and updates about their children on social media, was shown to be common among respondents. In total, more than 8 in 10 (82%) parents surveyed had posted things about their children on social media sites, including 89% of moms and 87% of young parents.

For the most part, parents do this to share things about their children with family and friends – about three-quarters (76%) cite this as the major reason for “sharenting”, while some say the major reason is to showcase their children’s accomplishments (36%).

And, while parents who choose not to partake in “sharenting” say their major reason for this is not wanting other people to have access to information about their children (76%), few are refraining from it for fear of being judged by other social media users (29%).

However, respondents do indicate a level of judgment, with a majority (52%) of parents saying that others share too much about their young children on social media around a quarter (24%) of social media-using parents saying they feel pressure to only post things that make them look good.

Read more in the full report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey conducted March 2-15, among 3,640 U.S. parents who have at least one child or children ages 17 and under.


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