Teens & Technology: Fact Sheet (cont.)

Teens frequently go online alone, unsupervised, and often engage in risky behaviors:

  • Nearly one-third (29%) of students surveyed said their parent or guardian would disapprove if they knew what they were doing on the Internet.8
  • Sixty-four percent of online teens say that most teens do things online that they wouldn't want their parents to know about.9
  • One-third (33%) of 13-17 year olds and nearly half (48%) of 16-17 year olds report that their parents or guardians know "very little" or "nothing" about what they do on the Internet.10

Many parents are not monitoring or supervising their teens' digital activities:

  • Just under half (42%) of parents do not review the content of what their teenager(s) read and/or type in chat rooms or via instant messaging.11
  • Thirty percent of parents allow their teenagers to use the computer in private areas of the house, such as a bedroom or home office.12
  • More than one in five (22%) 13-17 year olds said their parents or guardians have never discussed Internet safety with them.13
  • A majority of parents (65%) feel they could do a better job supervising their children's media use.14

Nearly all teens are using technology all the time, everywhere.

  • Close to nine in ten teens, or 87 percent of youth ages 12 to 17, are Internet users, and half of these teens go online daily.15
  • Approximately 19 million teens instant message.16 Sixty percent of teens have their own cell phone.17
  • One-third (33%) of teens have used a cell phone to send a text message. One in four cell phone-owning teens has used their phone to connect to the Internet.18
  • Thirteen percent of young people report having a handheld device that connects to the Internet.19


References

1 Pew Internet & American Life Project, Prescription Drugs Online, October 10, 2004.

2 Drug Enforcement Agency press release, "Operation CYBERx Dismantles Nationwide Internet Pharmacy Scheme," September 21, 2005.

3 ABC News, What Are Teens Hiding on MySpace, May 18, 2006

4 Pew Internet & American Life Project: Teens and Parents Survey, October-November 2004 survey.

5 Boyer, E, Shannon, M, Hibberd, PL. (2001) Web sites with misinformation about illicit drugs. New England Journal of Medicine, 345: 469-471.

6 Boyer, EW, Shannon, M, Hibberd PL. (2005) The Internet and psychoactive substance use among innovative drug users, Pediatrics, 15: 302-305.

7 Boyer, EW, Shannon, M, Hibberd PL. (2005) The Internet and psychoactive substance use among innovative drug users, Pediatrics, 15: 302-305.