It’s not just teenagers in the United States who love Facebook and other forms of social media. Apparently, teens in other areas of the world have a growing fascination with social media. A new Israeli study conducted by University of Haifa researchers looked at the social media habits of 591 students in grades nine through twelve at three different high schools. Listen to the findings carefully. You will be amazed. Approximately 94% of the students surveyed admitted to accessing social media or file-sharing sites by using their cell phones during class. Approximately 95% confessed to using their phones to take photos or make recordings for non-schoolwork related purposes during class time. Lots of the high school students were emailing or texting during class-94%. And, finally, while 93% reported listening to music on their phones during class -91% admitted to talking on the phone during class. Yep, you read that right. They were talking on their phones during class. Oh my!
According to Professor Itali Beeri and pre-doctoral student Dana Daniel who conducted the study the majority of Israeli teens have cell phones. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center report 31% of 14 to 17 year olds in the U.S. have their own smartphones. That seems like a low estimate; doesn’t it?
There was one very positive finding in this Israeli study that I would like to share. By the time the Israeli students were high school seniors they used their phones during class less frequently than 10th graders. Maybe maturity is setting in by then or perhaps the novelty is wearing off? Your guess is as good as mine. I would like to also see this study replicated in the U.S. Want to start taking bets on what the findings would be like?