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Media Advisory: As a Third of Americans Spend Four or More Hours a Day on Social Media, APA Offers New Polling, Resources on Technology Use

  • April 10, 2024

Washington, D.C.

WHAT: Technology has become an integral and growing part of everyday life. It is key for efficient daily functioning and vital for social connection for many. Smartphones are constant companions, and in fact, 64% of Americans feel somewhat or very anxious when they don’t have access to their phone, according to new polling from the American Psychiatric Association.

However, excessive and compulsive use of the internet or online activities can lead to negative consequences in various aspects of an individual's life. Technology addiction can potentially involve various forms of online activity including social media, gaming, gambling, problematic use of online pornography, and others.

See full poll results, including Americans’ patterns of technology usage.

Children and adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to technological addiction because their brains are still developing. For some children and teens, social media and video games play a significant role in the relationships and experiences that impact their growth, development and mental health, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Center of Excellence on Social Media and Youth Mental Health.

APA commissioned a poll among 2,204 American adults with Morning Consult, and found that among parents, 82% have taken measures to limit or manage their children’s technology use. Specifically:

  • 42% have limited their screentime.
  • 39% have taken away their phone, tablet, computer, or other mobile device.
  • 38% have used parental control systems or security features.
  • 35% limited the amount of time they can spend on social media.
  • 29% have monitored their children’s social media accounts.
  • 27% of parents restricted their children from using certain social media platforms.
  • 15% have deleted their children’s social media accounts.
  • 1% have done something else.

Nearly one in five parents (18%) have never limited or managed their child’s technology use.

The poll was conducted online March 11-14, 2024.

WHO: Experts available on Technology Addiction include APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A.; and James Sherer, M.D.

See more on Technology Addictions, including symptoms and diagnosis information. Access the full poll results and expert interviews by contacting [email protected]. See more APA Public Opinion Polling.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,900 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

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