Screen Time Survey: Few Use Apps or Services to Control Screen Time

With the increasing availability of different tech devices, screen time has become a big issue for parents. Even some adults have begun to monitor and limit the time they spend staring at screens throughout the day. But the issue has been especially prevalent when it comes to children browsing tablets and smartphones and spending time watching TV and playing video games. A recent study from Childwise, reported by BBC, found that kids spend an average of six hours or more on screens each day. So just how closely do parents monitor their kids’ screen time? And do adults put any of those same limits on their own screen time? We asked 1,000 respondents about their habits.

kids screen time

Screen Time

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 33% of adult respondents said that they spend seven or more hours using their smartphones on an average day. And the same amount spend that much time using computers on an average day. Most adults seem to spend about three to four hours per day watching TV. And few spend a significant amount of time using other devices like tablets or gaming consoles.

Generally, adults seem to think that three to four hours is a good amount of time for them to spend using any tech devices on an average day. Clearly, most use them quite a bit more than that. So it’s possible that even some adults would be interested in ways to limit their own screen time.

Kids’ Screen Time

When it comes to kids using those devices, significantly less time was involved. Most parents said their kids spend around an hour or two per day watching TV and three to four hours using a tablet. Smartphones, computers and gaming consoles weren’t quite as popular. In general, the majority of consumers agreed that one to two hours is an appropriate amount of time for kids to use tech devices each day, though parents were slightly more likely to give a little more leeway.

Parental Opinions

Of parents who have kids under 16 years of age, 76% said they pay close attention to how much time their kids spend using tech devices. And 61% place strict limits on how much time their kids are allowed to spend on those devices. However, just 34% place strict limits on their own screen time. And 84% agreed that letting kids use screens and tech devices sometimes can be beneficial and educational.

More specifically, 46% of consumers said they would be interested in an app or service that would let them set screen time limits for their kids or themselves. Currently, just 2% use such a service, with Amazon Freetime being the most popular.

Key Takeaways

Screen time does seem to be on a lot of parents’ minds. Most seem to monitor and set strict limits for how much their kids use certain devices. But they don’t seem to utilize actual apps or controls for setting those limits. About half of consumers might be interested in apps or devices that monitor screen time limits for them. But since few use such services, it seems that the companies that offer them need to focus on getting their offerings actually in front of parents so they know of their availability. Amazon Freetime and apps like unGlue and Qustodio already target families. But it’s also possible that there’s a market for apps that limit or monitor screen time for adults who spend more time than they’d like using tech devices each day.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Games by bane bane under CC by 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on September 11 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.