There is a developing trend among
teenagers to use multiple forms of media simultaneously. For example,
it’s not uncommon for a young person to be researching for a Social
Studies project online using Google while Instant Messaging (IM'ing) a
friend while listening to music and/or watching TV.
According to a
recent survey by the
Kaiser Family Foundation (January
2010) young people spend about 7.5
hours a day with some type
of entertainment media. But because they are
multi-tasking (using multiple kinds of media at the same time) they are
actually logging 10.75 hours of media time into those 7.5 hours.
"The amount of time spent with media increased by an hour and
seventeen minutes a day over the past five years, from 6:21 in 2004 to
7:38 today. And because of media
multitasking, the total amount of media content consumed during that
period has increased from 8:33 in 2004 to 10:45 today."
are some more excerpts from the report that might surprise you:
Cell Phones & iPods:
Among 8-18 year olds ownership of these devices has
gone up from 39% to 66% in the last 5 years.
About 2/3rds say the TV is usually on during meals
and only 3 in 10 say that their parents set any rules about watching TV.
7 in 10 have a TV in their bedroom and half of the respondents had a
video game console in their rooms. But for the first time
respondents in 2009 reported a decline in viewing regularly programmed
TV shows (down 25 minutes a day since 2004). But this decline was
rolled back when the increased use of DVD players, TV recording devices
and viewing TV through the internet is taken into account.
Top Online Activities:
Social networking sites like Facebook: 22
minutes a day. Playing games: 17 minutes a day.
Watching YouTube videos: 15 minutes a day. About 3/4 of students
in the 7th to 12 grades have a profile on a social networking site like
Facebook or MySpace and girls spend a little more time than boys on
How Does This All Effect Their Grades?
Though a direct correlation is difficult to prove, there is a difference
in the grades of light and heavy media users. About half of the
heavy media users (more than 16 hours a day) report getting "mostly Cs
or lower" whereas about a quarter of light media users (less than 3
hours a day) report getting "mostly Cs or lower."
More on this topic from
For more insights into Teens and Technology try checking out
Blog on the Psychology Today website:
Rewired: the Psychology of Technology