Media 24/7

Every five years starting in 1999, the Kaiser Family Foundation does an extensive survey about children, age 8-18, media use. Each year it seems it would be impossible to surpass the amount of time children consume media yet miracles do happen. And the growth of multitasking basically changed the whole picture, because kids spend time on multiple screens at the same time. My daughter just started doing this, watching TV while playing doodle jump on her Ipod touch (after her homework of course!). Below are some of the surprising statistics.

  • Kids spend almost 8 hours a day using media
  • TV is  HUGE chunk of this time at 4 1/2 hours a day!!
  • Music has grown the most since 1999, then TV, then computers.  So the older media is still growing.
  • Print is down (magazines and newspapers), but READING books is up!
  • Mobile media (MP3s) ownership has quadrupled in just 5 years!
  • Mobile phone ownership has doubled.
  • Heavy users of media (over 16 hours a day which seems nearly inconceivable to me) report lower grades and levels of personal contentment
  • Predictors of extensive media use seem to be no media rules, TV left on all the time in house and TV in the bedroom
  • Tweens (8 hours and 40 minutes a day!!) use more media than other ages.  And blacks and hispanics (over 9 hours a day!) use more media than whites.

It seems that kids use media more than they sleep.  And the sad thing is most of the time the content is not great – YouTube videos, violent video games, reality TV shows.

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