Bark's 2020 Annual Report
Research on Children and Technology
In 2020, Bark analyzed more than 2.1 billion messages across texts, email, and 30+ apps and social media platforms. These findings exclude school-based accounts.
Our 2020 research can give parents and guardians important insights into what it’s like to grow up on the internet today, allowing them to better protect their children while they use technology.
Bark's 2020 Research Data 📈
76.7% of tweens and 82.0% of teens experienced bullying as a bully, victim, or witness.
Alerts for cyberbullying range from mean-spirited teasing to hateful threats and provoking statements.
Additional external bullying statistics:
- According to the CDC, one in four students reports being bullied.
- Virtual learning during the pandemic has led to new forms of bullying, including Zoom bombing.
45.5% of tweens and 66.3% of teens engaged in conversations about depression.
Alerts for mental health range from mild pessimism to talking about or planning to attempt suicide.
More national data about teen mental health:
- Hospital visits related to mental health for kids aged 5–11 and 12–17 increased by 24% and 31%, respectively.
- Nearly a third of high school students were unhappy and depressed “much more than usual” this past spring.
88.5% of tweens and 94.1% of teens expressed or experienced violent subject matter/thoughts.
Alerts for violence range from texting a friend about a fight at school to direct threats against a child.
Relevant U.S. school shooting statistics:
- Up to 1 billion children aged 2–17 have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year.
- A recent study warned of the high risk of childhood exposure to family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
78.0% of tweens and 91.1% of teens engaged in conversations surrounding drugs/alcohol.
Alerts for drugs and alcohol can range from texts about prescriptions to videos of a child consuming illegal substances.
General drug/alcohol facts affecting kids today:
- The frequency of both alcohol and cannabis use increased for young people after social distancing measures were put in place.
- 49.3% of young people were using substances by themselves, 31.6% did so with peers via technology, and 23.6% with friends in person.
41.4% of tweens and 66.6% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation.
Alerts for potential self-harm and suicide include anything from text messages about cutting to an email draft of a suicide note.
National statistics surrounding self-harm/suicide:
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for ages 10–24.
- Increased screen time and isolation due to COVID-19 have negatively affected the mental health of teens and tweens all across the world.
70.9% of tweens and 87.9% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature.
Alerts for sexual content can be anything from web searches for explicit content to a child receiving nude photos.
Recent information regarding kids and sexual content:
- Sexting laws vary from state to state. Be sure to know the laws in your area.
- Research shows that teen sexting is associated with an increased risk of bullying victimization.
Bark 2020 Top Apps/Platforms
for Concerning Content
Bark analyzed more than 2 billion online activities across 30+ apps and social media platforms. "Activities" include text messages, emails, social media posts, DMs, chats, song lyrics, captions, and more.
Help Keep Your Kid Safe Online
When our generation was growing up, our parents worried about seatbelts and bike helmets. Today, children face dangers with technology like never before. In addition to providing you with up-to-date information like our 2020 research, Bark can help you protect them online and in real life with timely alerts so you can know when something might be wrong. Sign up today for a free, one-week trial.