Kids Wireless Use Facts

Children and Cellphones
Teens and Cellphones
Parental Controls
Social Media
Inappropriate Use

Children and Cellphones

  • On average, children are 12.1 when they receive their first mobile device. [Source]
  • 56 percent of children, age 8 to 12, have a cellphone. [Source]
  • 60 percent of families who have provided a cellphone to their child did so between the ages of 10 and 11. 20 percent provided their 8 to 9 year olds with a cellphone. [Source]
  • Among children 8 years of age and younger, 21 percent use smartphones. [Source]
  • 69 percent of families with young children under 8 years old have a smartphone. [Source]
  • 38 percent of children under 2 used a mobile device for media. [Source]
  • Dads are more likely to give kids smartphones in elementary school while moms are more likely to give kids smartphones in middle school. [Source]

Teens and Cellphones:

  • 37 percent of teenagers, ages 13 to 17 have or have access to a smartphone, an increase from 37 percent in 2013. [Source] 88 percent of teenagers, ages 13 to 17 have or have access to a cellphone. [Source] 91 percent of teenagers, ages 13 to 17, access the internet on cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices at least occasionally. [Source] 
  • 56 percent of young people use a password on their mobile devices. [Source] 
  • 51 percent of high school students carry a smartphone with them to school every day, compared to 28 percent of middle school students. [Source] 
  • 70 percent of parents of teens with a cellphone have reviewed their teen's text messages, while only 39 percent of teens believe their parents monitor their cellphone somewhat closely. [Source]
  • 74 percent of teens rely on their parents and other adults for information about protecting themselves online. [Source]
  • 53 percent of teenagers, ages 13 to 17, say most of their calls last four minutes or less. [Source]
  • 33 percent of teenagers, ages 13 to 17, list texting as their favorite form of communicating with their friends. [Source]
  • 53 percent of adolescents, ages 8 to 17, report they have been in the car with someone who is texting and driving. [Source]
  • 91 percent of teens go online from a mobile device, at least occasionally. [Source]
  • A typical teen sends and receives 30 texts per day. [Source]


  • 58% of teens have access to a tablet computer. [Source]
  • 62% of teen girls report having access to a tablet compared with 54% of teen boys. [Source]
  • 46 percent of families have at least one tablet. [Source]
  • 70 percent of children under 12 years old, living in a tablet-owning household, have used the tablet device. [Source]
  • 57 percent of children under 12 years old, who have access at home to a wireless tablet device, have used an educational application. [Source]
  • 77 percent of children under 12 years old in tablet-owning households download games to play. [Source]
  • 55 percent of parents with a tablet use it to entertain their children under 12 years old while traveling. 41 percent used a tablet to entertain their children at restaurants. [Source]
  • 43 percent of children under 12 years old with access to a tablet at home use it to watch movies and television shows. [Source]
  • 70 percent of households with children have a tablet. [Source]

Parental Controls:

  • While a vast majority of teens (90 percent) say their parents trust them to be responsible online, 45 percent said they would change something about their online behavior if their parents were watching. [Source]
  • Among parents with children less than 8 years old, they use the following methods to help control their child's media content access:
    • 57 percent of parents watch or play the content first
    • 34 percent of parents listen to recommendations from friends
    • 31 percent of parents rely on the reputation of the company
    • 25 percent of parents allow the child to find it themselves
    • 13 percent of parents check website reviews
    • 5 percent of parents check newspaper or magazine reviews. [Source]
  • Almost 70 percent of pre-teens admit to hiding online activities. [Source]
  • Less than 47 percent of young people (ages 10-23) are aware of what their child is doing online.[Source]
  • Fewer than half of teens are bothered by parental monitoring of their online or mobile activities and a majority of teens say parent's looking over their shoulders doesn't bother them that much. [Source]
  • 91 percent of parents say they are well informed about what their teens do online or on their cellphones. Three in five teens say their parents know what they do online. [Source]
  • 93 percent of parents say they talk to their teens about online safety, while only 61 percent of teens report having this conversation. [Source]
  • 38 percent of parents with younger teens, aged 13-15, said they monitor or follow their children's cell phone use very closely. 84 percent said they somewhat closely or very closely monitor. [Source]
  • 87 percent of parents are aware of parental controls. [Source]
  • 53 percent of parents use some sort of parental control feature to manage/monitor their child’s Internet use. [Source]
  • 33 percent of parents said they find it difficult to supervise their children’s Internet usage when using a smartphone or handheld device. [Source]
  • 86 percent of parents feel their children are safe online. [Source]
  • 89 percent of parents find online safety education for their kids to be critical. [Source]
  • 84 percent of parents who use social media follow or are connected with their children, hoping to gain access to their interactions with followers and the information they post. [Source]
  • 79% of young people (ages 10-23) learn about online safety from their parents. [Source]
  • 32 percent of parents set rules for how their kids use their smartphone. [Source]
  • 17 percent of parents have different rules for how kids use smartphones on weekdays compared to how they use them on weekends. [Source]
  • City parents are more inclined to give kids smartphone rules and use monitoring apps than those in the suburbs. [Source]
  • 77 percent of kids know their parents use parental monitoring apps. [Source]


  • Only 61 percent of teens use privacy settings on their social media sites, while more than half of teens are indiscriminate about which apps have access to their location. [Source]
  • 14 percent of teens posted their home addresses online, a 27 percent increase from the previous year. [Source]
  • 55 percent of preteens and teens surveyed believe that other people gaining access to their personal information is the worst activity that can happen to them online [Source]
  • 83 percent of youth say they are concerned about the privacy of their personal information[Source]

Social Media:

  • Nearly half of teens say they have posted something online that they later regretted. [Source]
  • One in three teens say they feel more accepted online than they do in real life. [Source]
  • 8 percent of people in the U.S., ages 16 – 34, have been turned down for a job because of their social media profile. [Source]
  • 70 percent of parents say that they monitor their children's social networking activities. [Source]
  • 46 percent of parents have access to their children's social networking accounts. [Source]
  • 62 percent of teen social media users say the profile they use most often is set to be private so that only their friends can see the content they post. [Source]
  • 89% of teens use social media. [Source]
  • 71 percent of teens use more than one social network site. [Source]
  • A typical teen Facebook user has 145 friends and an Instagram user has an average of 150 followers. [Source]
  • 51 percent of teens, ages 13 to 17, use social media sites daily. [Source]
  • 71 percent of teens are Facebook users and 52 percent use Instagram [Source]
  • 56 percent of teens say that photos of themselves, or “selfies,” receive the most likes compared to other posts. [Source]
  • Teens who maintain public profiles on social network sites are far more likely than those who have private profiles to report lying about their age (62% vs. 45%). [Source]


  • 87 percent of youths witnessed cyberbullying, compared to 27 percent the year before who said they witnessed cruel behavior online. [Source]
  • Of the teens who witnessed cyberbullying, 53 percent said victims reacted with defensiveness oranger, while 47 percent deleted their social media accounts. [Source]
  • Nearly a quarter of teens say they would not know what to do if they started being harassed or bullied online.[Source]
  • Many online arguments have offline consequences, as half of teens say they have been involved in an argument because of an online post, a 51 percent increase from the year before. Four percent of teens say they saw a negative online exchange turn into a physical fight. [Source]
  • 48 states now have laws addressing "electronic harassment," including 22 states that specifically refer to "cyberbullying." [Source]
  • 27 percent of youth have witness cruel behavior online and only 9 percent of parents are aware of this. [Source]
  • 43 percent of teens, ages 13 to 17, report being a victim of "cyberbullying" in the past year.
    • 20 percent of those who experienced cyberbullying said someone posed as someone else while online to find out personal information about themselves.
    • 13 percent said a cyberbully pretended to be them online.
    • 17 percent said a cyberbully lied about them online.
    • 10 percent said someone posted pictures without their permission with the intent to embarrass them. [Source]
  • 35 percent of youth, ages 8 to 16 indicate they bullied people on social media.
    • 61 percent state it was because the person was mean to them.
    • 26 percent indicated it was because they did not like the person. [Source]
  • 11 percent of teens, ages 13 to 17, told their parents about a cyberbullying experience. [Source]
  • 81 percent of teens, ages 13 to 17, believe others cyberbully because they think it is funny. [Source]
  • Nearly 15 percent of teens, ages 13 to 17, were left scared after a cyberbullying experience. 50 percent felt angry. Nearly 30 percent wanted to seek retribution against their cyberbully. [Source]

Inappropriate Use:

  • Around 20 percent of teenagers with text-capable devices surveyed in California received a "sext," but only five percent report having sent one. [Source]
  • 47 percent of kids looked up a site their parents would disapprove of. [Source]
  • Over half of kids 10-17 posted risky comments or photos online. [Source]
  • 22 percent of young people admit to using mobile devices to hide their online behavior from their parents. [Source]
  • 44 percent of teens list identity theft as their top concern about potential consequences online,while 30 percent are more concerned with posts creating problems with colleges or employers. [Source]
  • 43 percent of teens admit to texting and driving and 61 percent report their friends’ text and drive.[Source] 


  • 74 percent of teachers say that technology enables them to reinforce and expand on content. [Source]
  • 74 percent of teachers say that technology motivates students to learn.[Source]
  • 73 percent of teachers say that technology helps them respond to a variety of learning styles. [Source]
  • 69 percent of teachers say that technology allows them to "do much more than ever before" for their students. [Source]
  • 35 percent of teachers have access to a tablet or e-reader in the classroom as compared to only 20 percent in 2012. Among teachers with access to tablets:
    • 71 percent cite the use of educational apps as the most beneficial for teaching,
    • 64 percent said educational websites and 
    • 60 percent said educational e-books/textbooks. [Source]
  • More than 50 percent of parents said schools should make more use of mobile devices for education. [Source]
    • 32 percent of parents believe they should be required in the classroom.
    • 71 percent of parents believe mobile devices open up learning opportunities.
    • 62 percent of parents believe mobile devices benefit students' learning.
    • 59 percent of parents believe mobile devices engage students in the classroom.
    • 45 percent of parents say they plan to buy, or already have bought a mobile device to support their child’s learning. [Source]
    • 68 percent of parents agree that mobile devices and apps can help teach reading. 67 percent think they can help teach math. [Source]
    • 43 percent of parents say they need help finding educational apps. [Source]
    • Only 27 percent of high school principals report they are not yet offering any online courses for students. [Source]
    • 46 percent of students see smartphones as the ideal device for communicating with teachers.[Source]
    • 86 percent of principals say that students using mobile devices to help with school work is important. 50 percent said “very important.” [Source]
    • 75 percent of K-12 students say it is important that they have access to their mobile devices at school. [Source]