New study uncovers phone usage patterns among Czech teens

Instagram is by far the most popular application, and girls spend more time than boys on their phones.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 22.05.2023 11:00:00 (updated on 22.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech teenage children are spending more and more time on their mobile phones – on average, they turn on their screens 78 times per day. Scientists from Masaryk University assessed around 200 Czech adolescents between 13 and 17 years old, monitoring how long each spent on their phones, and this was one of the study's findings.

The study also found that teenagers spent an average of four hours and 11 minutes on their phones every day. Assuming they are awake for 16 hours daily, this is over one-quarter of the waking day. 

Predominantly using social media

Participants spent the most time – 74 minutes per day – on Instagram (39 minutes on average) and TikTok (23 minutes), followed by Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. Girls spent more time on social networking sites than boys, at over one and a half hours per day, compared with one hour daily for boys.

The teenagers spent a total of one hour daily on YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify. Just 12 minutes per day was spent on Facebook Messenger, and an even lower four minutes per day on WhatsApp.

Michaela Lebedíková from the Institute of Interdisciplinary Internet and Society Research of Masaryk University says that a large amount of time on phones should not be automatically equated with negative aspects.

"It's definitely not the case that the longer we use phones, the more addicted we become"

Michaela Lebedíková, researcher at Masaryk University

She says that phone use serves as an effective tool for communication and also a learning aid. Lebedíková notes that the use of phones can become risky when children encounter negative content on social networks, such as bullying, or when it interferes with sleep. 

Risks exist regardless

Pavla Chomynová says in Seznam Zprávy that the overuse of digital technologies affects about one in four teenagers. A separate international study by the World Health Organization, titled Health Behaviour in School-aged Children, showed that 8 percent of 11-15-year-olds in Czechia showed signs of addiction to social media, which was most often accessed via phones.

Research from the Palacký University in Olomouc also found that 30 percent of Czech children and teenagers face online “ridicule” on social media. 

With Czech teenagers today spending more time on their phones compared with previous decades, parents may seek to more closely monitor their children’s activities to ensure harmful effects are avoided.

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