How do girls and boys differ online?

We know that tweens and teens love their smartphones, social media feeds and video games. But just how pervasive? Both Common Sense Media and Pew Research released extensive, in-depth research in 2015 that attach, concrete data to this social phenomenon. Here are high points of their findings.


Pew Research “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview: Smartphones Facilitate Shifts in Communication Landscape for Teens” (April 2015)

  • 92% of 13- to 17-year-olds go online at least once a day and 56% do so several times a day

  • 24% of 13- to 17-year-olds say they are online “almost constantly”

  • Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat still reign supreme among teens

  • Girls prefer visually-oriented social media, including Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest

  • Boys play video games: 91% have a video game console and 84% use their phones for gaming

Common Sense Media “The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens + Teens” (November 2015)

  • 8- to 12-year-olds spend 6 hours a day using media--not including screen time for homework

  • 13- to 18-year-olds spend 9 hours a day using media--not including screen time for homework

  • 24% of 8- to 12-year-olds have a smartphone

  • 67% of 13- to 18-year-olds have a smartphone

  • 50% of 13- to 18-year-olds use social media while doing homework

  • Listening to music and watching TV still are the dominant forms of media tweens and teens consume

Common Sense report:

Pew Research report: