Kids’ Media Use Accelerated Rapidly During the Pandemic

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by Common Sense Media.

A new report from Common Sense Media, “The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2021” reveals how the past two years have affected kids’ media use. While many pre-pandemic trends continued, we saw acceleration across the board, as well as some shifts amid the emergence of new platforms and behavioral patterns.

Here are some trends highlighted by the research:

• In the past two years, media use for tweens and teens grew faster than in the four years before the pandemic. Between 2019 and 2021, the total amount of screen media used each day went from 4:44 to 5:33 among tweens, and from 7:22 to 8:39 among teens (not including screen time while learning at school or doing homework).

• Online video has emerged as the activity of choice for tweens and teens, and YouTube is the must-have platform. More than 6 in 10 tweens and teens watch online videos every day, and say they enjoy watching “a lot,” far more than the percent who enjoy any other media activity that much.

• The number of tweens using social media — before they’re technically old enough to do so — is climbing. Social media use by tweens climbed during the pandemic, with the percentage of 8- to 12-year-olds reporting that they had ever used some form of social media jumping to 38% in 2021, compared with 31% in 2019.

Read the complete report here:

Source: Common Sense Media

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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