Gallup on Social Media: Just One, Tiny, Irrelevant Data Point Missing

October 23, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[2]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I read “Teens Spend Average of 4.8 Hours on Social Media Per Day.” I like these insights into how intelligence is being whittled away.

10 16 dumb bunny

Me? A dumb bunny. Thanks, MidJourney. What dumb bunny inspired you?

Three findings caught may attention and one, tiny, irrelevant data point I noticed was missing. Let’s look at three of the hooks snagging me.

First, the write up reveals:

Across age groups, the average time spent on social media ranges from as low as 4.1 hours per day for 13-year-olds to as high as 5.8 hours per day for 17-year-olds.

Doesn’t that seem like a large chunk of one’s day?

Second, I learned that the research unearthed this insight:

Teens report spending an average of 1.9 hours per day on YouTube and 1.5 hours per day on TikTok

I assume the bright spot is that only two plus hours are invested in reading, Instagram, and encrypted messages.

Third, I learned:

The least conscientious adolescents — those scoring in the bottom quartile on the four items in the survey — spend an average of 1.2 hours more on social media per day than those who are highly conscientious (in the top quartile of the scale). Of the remaining Big 5 personality traits, emotional stability, openness to experience, agreeableness and extroversion are all negatively correlated with social media use, but the associations are weaker compared with conscientiousness.

Does this mean that social media is particularly effective on the most vulnerable youth?

Now let me point out the one item of data I noted was missing:

How much time does this sample spend reading?

I think I know the answer.

Stephen E Arnold, October 23, 2023


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