BBC Survey finds that 50% of teenagers feel anxious without their smartphones

BBC Survey finds that 50% of teenagers feel anxious without their smartphones

50% of teenagers feel anxious without their smartphones, a survey for BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Bitesize suggests

Findings of the poll will be discussed on BBC Radio 5 Live during the Teen24 Summit taking place in Warrington

June 12, 2024 – Half of teenagers aged 13-18 said they feel anxious when they do not have their smart phones with them, an exclusive survey commissioned by BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Bitesize has suggested.

And three quarters (74%) said they wouldn’t consider swapping their smart phones for a more basic device that only allows phone calls and text messages.

A quarter (25 %) said they use their phones for more than five hours on a typical day.

On a positive note, 75% of teens questioned said they feel positive about their future, with only 11% feeling negative about lies ahead.

The online poll, conducted by Survation, surveyed 2000* teenagers aged 13-18 asking them questions on a range of different issues affecting teenage lives. These topics ranged from anxiety and social media, phone use and addiction, to sexual harassment and street safety.

The findings from the poll will be discussed live from the Teen24 Summit on BBC Radio 5 Live as part of their collaboration with BBC Bitesize.

The BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast show’s Rachel Burden will be kicking things off from 6am with a special programme focusing on teens and their mobiles, and asking what their life would be like without smartphones. Rachel will be joined by ten young people who took part in a smartphone ‘detox’ for 5 Live to find out if they can live without their mobiles for a week. The teens will join Rachel to reveal how they feel about their phones after the detox.

From 9am, Nicky Campbell will be hosting a live, two-hour teen summit from the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington, with an audience of young people from across the North West of England. He’ll be asking them their opinions on smartphones, social media, influencers, and other topics that affect teen lives.

Heidi Dawson, Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, says: “Understanding how teenagers feel and think about the world is crucial and this survey provides fascinating insights. Some of the findings are eye-opening and the research shows there is a big conversation needed on teen issues and mobile phone use. We are working closely with BBC Bitesize and will be discussing all the issues during our Teen24 summit on BBC Radio 5 Live.”

Head of BBC Education Helen Foulkes said: Head of BBC Education Helen Foulkes says: “BBC Bitesize provides a wide range of content to help young people thrive and survive during their school years and this survey gives us an even better insight into the challenges, concerns and aspirations of teenagers across the UK. We’re delighted to be able to help them navigate these things, and understand themselves better, with the launch of the Bitesize World of Wellbeing podcast and the My Teenage Brain series. Both are fantastic additions to the amazing help and advice already available on Bitesize Study Support.”

To coincide with the Teen24 Summit, BBC Bitesize will be releasing some brand new content to support teenagers, including the World of Wellbeing podcast and My Teenage Brain series. The podcast is co-hosted by Tik Toker Ami Charlize and Radio 1 Life Hack’s Dr Radha Modgil and delves into issues like self-esteem, worrying, friendship fall-outs, self-care and the benefits of being active, with all episode available to watch on the Study Support section of the Bitesize website, and on BBC Sounds.

My Teenage Brain helps young people to understand themselves better by unpacking all the chemical and neurological things that affect how you think, act and feel when you’re a teenager. Social media star India Sascha and clinical psychologist Dr Tara Porter front the content, also available on Bitesize Study Support.

Coverage of BBC Radio 5 Live’s Teen24 Summit will start at 6am on Wednesday 12 June 2024 on Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds.

• Survation interviewed 2042* teenagers aged from 13 to 18 years old online between 16 – 29 May 2024

• Parental permission was gained and appropriate safeguarding measures taken including directing young people to support

• BBC Radio 4 have produced a documentary about the smart phone detox. You can listen to ‘Living without my Smartphone’ presented by 5 Live’s Rachel Burden which hears from the ten participants about their experience, on BBC Radio 4 on 16 June at 1.30pm, and 17 June at 4pm.

• The BBC Young Reporter Competition 2024 winners will also be announced on Wednesday. Young people across the UK have had their original stories selected by judges including 5 Live’s Naga Munchetty, Adam Fleming, Alex Jones and Roman Kemp and the subjects include the “life-changing” impact of mentoring, bike recycling, self-defence classes for girls and food poverty. The stories will be produced with the 11-18 year old winners and broadcast across the BBC. The full list of national and regional winning stories is available on the BBC Young Reporter website

BBC 5 Live

Scroll to Top