It’s time to turn off those notifications!! Teens can receive anything up to 237 notifications on their phone every day!
If it seems like tweens and teens are spending a lot of time on their phones, that’s because they are. It’s no secret that teens’ relationship with their phones is complex—they use them for different types of support, relaxation, and distraction, at home and school, day and night.
All that engagement leads to a regular debate for families: Many believe that teens’ tech use will ultimately lead to more stress for them. Others recognize that phones are an essential part of modern social life, and can help teens relieve stress or otherwise keep up with their busy lives.
A research report from Common Sense Media, Constant Companion: A Week in the Life of a Young Person’s Smartphone Use, provides insights that can help you to better understand and navigate the digital landscape with your teen.
The average tween or teen is managing a staggering median of 237 notifications a day, courtesy of the multiple apps on their phones. This constant stream of notifications forces them to manage which alerts they answer and which they don’t.
Not only that, they engage with about a quarter of them, or about 46 per day, according to research from Common Sense.
So how can we, as parents and caregivers, help them silence the distractions?
One of the main ways grownups can help is to encourage young people to reflect on how these notifications affect them. Whether it’s their emotions or ability to focus, the habit of always checking their phones can impact children’s well-being.
Ditch the distractions
Here are some things you can do with your child to limit those distractions.
Together with your child, open the screen time or digital well-being app on their phone and look at which apps send them the most notifications.
Talk about how your child can update the settings—both within apps and on the phone itself. Ask them to think about which notifications they find disruptive and which ones they want to turn off.
Help them set “do not disturb” times that match their needs, like when they do homework or before they go to bed.
Although it might take time, stopping to reflect on how phone notifications affect you can lead to helpful discussions at home and in school. Plus, it can give us some control over how much we interact with tech.
Helping kids with their digital well-being requires support from parents and caregivers, teachers and schools, and the tech industry itself.
But there’s hope: Young people are getting savvier about blocking some of the notifications that they feel are unnecessary or silly. They prefer notifications for more personal things like DMs, or direct messages, and stuff related to people they know.
Original article published on Common Sense Media.