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The number of hours that teens are spending on smartphones may surprise you

Teens are spending a reported 9 hours on media consumption, with tweens dedicating an estimated 6 hours to their smartphones or tablets.
/ Source: TODAY

Over the span of nine hours, there's time to accomplish many tasks: homework, cooking meals, tending to a day job, sneaking in a workout, just to name a few. But teens today are spending those hours of their day very differently.

New research has found that teens are spending a reported nine hours on media consumption, with tweens trailing not too far behind, dedicating an estimated six hours to their smartphones or tablets.

James Steyer, CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media, says that that statistic "shows you that kids spend more time with media and technology than they do with their parents, time in school or any other thing. They are literally living in a 24/7 media and technology world."

Though it may sound troubling, the medium has become so engrained in the livelihood of young adolescents, and it's up to the parents to make sure teens are using it appropriately.

"The more you as a parent can be a good guide and shepherd of their behavior, the better. And as a parent you have to help your kid create a healthy media diet," Steyer says. "That includes the amount of screen time, but it also includes the choices they make of where they spend time."

Those choices are hugely important, Steyer notes, as reading, watching, playing, listening, communicating and creating are all among the greatest uses for digital screen media.

Angeliki Jackson