Analysis of Technology Usage of Teens: Correlating Social Media, Technology Use, Participation in Sports, and Popularity

(1) Aci High School, Istanbul, Turkey

This study tests the correlation between technology usage and teens’ social lives. The addition of student popularity and the effects of extracurricular activities on technology usage were also examined. A group of 50 students was surveyed (25 males and 25 females; 25 middle schoolers and 25 high schoolers). The survey primarily asked the students to rate the social environment in their school, find the ratio of their in-school to out of school friends, vote for the three most popular students in their grade, and identify their technology usage from one to five (1 representing not dependent at all and 5 representing extremely addicted). A negative correlation was found between participation in extracurricular activities and technology usage (p=0.032), which means that students who participated in extracurricular activities used statistically significantly less technology than the ones who do not. There was no significant difference between the technology usage of middle and high school students. One major finding was that boys used technology mainly for gaming and entertainment (p=0.039), whereas girls mainly used it for social media (p=0.016). Most interestingly, the survey showed that the students who were voted to be more popular by others had higher social media usage on average than those who were not. Unexpectedly, a common answer received in the popularity ranking question was the denial of any presence of popularity in the specified grade. The denying students received significantly fewer “popularity votes” than others. The final results added to an increased understanding of the relationship between technology usage and teens’ social lives.

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