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Study: Teens inundated daily with 200+ notifications

A new study indicates how much time teenagers are spending on their cellphones. Medical experts say parents should be aware of this issue and adopt a common sense approach.
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Posted at 6:05 AM, Oct 04, 2023

(NBC 26) — A recent study by Common Sense Media shows just how much time teenagers are spending on their phones:

  • Over half of teens had 200+ notifications per day
  • Over half of teens checked their phones more than 50 times per day
  • Nearly all teens used their phones during school hours
  • Teens reported using their phones to help with negative feelings

Dr. Ellen Selkie is an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the director of the Pediatric Fellowship.
Dr. Selkie says parents should be concerned about those findings and develop a common sense approach to how much time their children are spending on their phones and which notifications to allow. She says parents can sit down with their children to see which apps they're using and which notifications to allow on their phone. She also recommends specific times of the day - especially while they're sleeping - to possibly set their phone to Do Not Disturb.

Dr. Selkie says it's apparent these constant notifications are interrupting family time, sleep and keeping children from being active.

Dr. Selkie has a few more tips to share for parents:

  • Recognize it may be hard to turn off all notifications completely—they can be an important part of keeping in touch with friends
  • Understand phone settings and use Do Not Disturb during school day
  • Understand app limitations and consider setting time limits on certain app or limiting which notifications you see
  • Discuss with your teen priorities for using phone during meals, and at night. Consider a digital curfew where home wi-fi is turned off at night, or charging devices in a parent or other bedroom.