Screen TIme: The Pingree Report


Jack Moulison

How much time do Pingree students spend on their phones? I pondered this question and decided to ask students two questions: “What do you think your average screen time was last week?” followed by “What was your actual average screen time last week?” These questions allowed for an initial honest answer and then a concrete answer backed by their iPhone settings.

I surveyed a total of 72 Pingree students and came away with two averages. Estimated average weekly screen time: 5.07 hours. Actual average screen time: 5.067 hours. I was surprised that people were very close to estimating their actual screen time use. An overview of the data shows that the highest amount of screen time was 11 hours 44 minutes and the lowest was 2 hours 30 minutes.

During the data collection process, many of the people realized that they had their screen time settings on their phone turned off. Personally, I keep my screen time on because I like to look at it every once in a while as a reminder. However, some argued it was because they did not want to know it because it serves as a way for them to become discouraged. Others said they just forgot to turn it on.

It is also important to mention that although I collected data from 72 different students, I did not accurately represent each grade or gender equally. This was because I did not leave the commons area while asking students my questions. I recognize that not everyone hangs out there during breaks/H Blocks. I chose not to take note of the gender of each participating student because I felt that it was not needed. 

In general, screen time among US teens has increased in recent years. According to Common Sense Media, “In 2015, American 13- to 18-year-olds averaged 6 hours 40 minutes of screen time each day. That figure rose to 7 hours 22 minutes in 2019. And sits at 8 hours 39 minutes as of 2021.” After reading their article and my findings, I believe that as time goes on, screen time will continue to increase, and has already. 

Asking Pingree students these questions definitely left an impression on the participants because it allowed them to reflect on how much time they spend on their phone. It was also interesting to see that many people were honest and accurate with their initial guesses for their own screen time. Overall, most Pingree students are aware of how long they spend on their phone, and based on many people’s reactions, recognize that it is a bad habit.