Huge increases in media use reported

A recent article in the New York Times highlights that teens are spending more time with media than ever before — an average of 7.5 hours a day. And, given that they can use several different types of media at once (listen to music while playing a video game or posting on Facebook), teens actually manage to bend time and get in nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours.

Heavy media use (defined as more than 16 hours a day!) was found to be associated with several negatives, including behavior problems and lower grades. So, the increase in media, at least in its extreme, may be cause for concern.

The study was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, who has a strong history of researching media use and content. KFF is also known for its thorough analysis of the sexual content on television (the Sex on TV series). Major findings there include that the amount of sexual content on TV continues to increase, and that references to safer sex or sexual risks and responsibilities are rare (about 14% of sexual content alludes to them). The last Sex on TV report I could find was from 2005.

But maybe KFF realizes that those studies are outdated, and it’s time to look more closely at the sexual content of the digital media teens consume instead. I look forward to it!

6 thoughts on “Huge increases in media use reported

  1. Jeff:Thanks for pointing this out. I am sorry to say that I am having a hard time keeping up with the SPAM comments that are flooding in every day on this blog. So frustrating for me, and must be for readers like you.Thanks for noticing though!

  2. As mom to an almost kindergartner, I wonder about how the parents make the decision to allow this much access. H gets 30 minutes max a day, and some days no screen time, and I know this is low even for her peers. But I see a distinct difference in her behavior when she watches more than that- which is only one reason why she watches as little as she does. I hope, that as she grows older, the love of reading, drawing and entertaining herself without tv/computer will be what sticks. I'd much rather her sit for three hours with her nose in a book (like I did) than on the computer/tv/phone. And I'm starting to see that- she doesn't always need someone to tell her what to do, and will sometimes read/play independently for an hour or more (with me nearby, but not necessarily engaging).I think kids follow what they see, and giving good examples are important- we don't use our cell phones much (simple, for emergencies), no tv in the house, and movies are rare (or after she's gone to bed).

  3. Thanks for pointing this out. I am sorry to say that I am having a hard time keeping up with the SPAM comments that are flooding in every day on this blog.

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