When Your Mind is Online: What ScreenTime Does to Kids

Unlimited screen time becomes a slippery slope when it comes to the lasting harm that it can do to your mind, especially when you are young. The pandemic has been a particularly trying time, and has been feeding a dramatic rise in screen time. Learn more about the dangers of screen addiction, how it can lead to harmful content, and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones in the infographic below:

This Is Your Mind Online: What Unlimited Screen Time Does To Kids

In 2021, parents ranked increased screen time as one of 3 harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Screen Time Continues To Grow

  • Adolescents’ screen time more than doubled during the pandemic
    • 2019: 3.8 hours per day
    • 2020: 7.7 hours per day
    • Plus, time spent online for schoolwork, reading ebooks, or listening to music
  • Most teens feel addicted to their phones
    • 50% of teens say they “feel addicted” to mobile devices
      • 59% of their parents agree
    • 72% of teens feel the urge to immediately check notifications or respond to messages
      • 78% check their devices at least hourly
    • Since the pandemic 63% of parents say teens’ social media use has increased 

7 in 10 children have accidentally accessed harmful content online

The Mental & Emotional Impact Of Online Experiences

  • Nearly half of teens today will experience some form of mental health disorder in their lifetime
    • Teens who use social media more than 3 hours per day are at heightened risk of mental health issues 
      • Persistent use of social media can have a negative effect on mental health
        • Lower self-esteem
        • Diminished body-image
        • Feeling isolation & loneliness
      • 1 in 6 teens have experienced cyber-bullying 
        • Name-calling: 42%
        • False rumors: 32%
        • Unsolicited explicit messages: 25%
        • Stalking: 21%
        • Physical threats: 16%
        • Explicit images shared without consent: 7%
      • 90% of teens believe online harassment is normal

65% of young teens* want their families to use parental controls.

Discover Our Tool: Canopy’s Parental Control App

Accidental Exposure Is Common

On average, children are first exposed to pornography at age 11 — 2.5 years younger than in 1985]

  • 34% of internet users have experienced unwanted exposure to pornographic content through ads, pop up ads, misdirected links or emails
  • 81% of teens* who have seen pornographic materials have been exposed unintentionally
    • 49% of teens* unintentionally encounter pornography at least 1-2 times per month
  • Early exposure can have long term consequences
    • Increased odds of teen pregnancy
    • Greater risk of depression 
    • Lower self-esteem and loneliness
    • Normalization of 
      • Unsafe sexual behaviors
      • Violence against women
      • Harmful racial stereotypes

In 2020, 1 in 7 children between ages 9 and 12 shared a nude photo of themselves — 3X higher than in 2019

  • 62% of teens and young adults have sent or received a nude image 
  • 1 in 3 children* have seen nude photos of others that have been re-shared without consent
  • In 2020, one-third of reported child sexual abuse material (CASM) was self-generated — a 77% increase in just one year
    • 80% of self-generated CSAM comes from 11 to 13 year-old girls

84% of parents are worried about their child’s safety online

Learn how to block adult websites on your phone here and how to block porn here.


Create An Internet That’s Safe For Your Family

How Does Accidental Exposure Occur?

  • Up to 40% of children accidentally access online pornography by innocently entering simple search phrases or open-ended terms 
      • Many young boys are exposed to violent and sexual content while playing online games meant for adults
        • Children and teen can easily bypass age verification systems on most 18+ websites
      • Receiving unsolicited messages — 43% of kids aged 8 to 13 years old speak to strangers online, often without supervision
      • Most American youths watch online videos every day
        • Ages 8-12: 56%
        • Ages 13-18: 69%
How To Protect Your Child From Harmful Content
      • Ground Rules: Establish age-appropriate rules and help your child understand why the rules are important — Commonly recommended rules include
        • Don’t share personal information online
        • Don’t friend anyone you don’t already know
        • Keep gaming chats about the game
      • Good Habits: Help your kid develop skills and habits that will foster a healthy relationship with technology for the rest of their lives
        • Show kids how to report and block inappropriate content or behavior
        • Create a central device charging station
        • Establish a digital curfew for the whole family
        • Place game systems and computers in shared areas of the house
      • Parental Controls: Use smart filtering tools with broad protection instead of adjusting each app individually — These include
        • Router-level settings offered by your internet service provider
        • Operating system tools on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android devices
        • Activating Google SafeSearch for each device and browse
  • Talk To Your Child: It’s never too late to start an open, ongoing conversation about the role of technology in their lives
      • Let your child know you’re always there to help
      • Remind them that they can ask you about anything, even if they feel uncomfortable

Nearly 1 in 5 parents don’t bother with parental controls because they believe their kids can easily bypass them — But, with newer parental control technology, that isn’t true Canopy Seamlessly Filters Online Content

  • Block explicit images and videos on every website — no exceptions
  • Prevent kids from disabling the filter or deleting the app
  • Disable distracting apps and games
  • Detect sexting and alert parents immediately
  • Monitor real-time GPS location

Canopy creates a safe, custom internet for your family – Learn more at canopy.us

Our Best Guides for Parents

  1. How to Deal with Sextortion
  2. How to Prevent Cyberbullying
  3. How to Block Youtube
  4. How to Block TikTok on iPhone
  5. The Effects of Quitting Porn
  6. What’s the Best Parental Control App?
  7. Effects of Porn on the Brain
  8. How to Block Instagram