Electronic media usage by children reaches record high

USA Today
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Apparently electronic media is equal to a full time job for most kids…

“The findings, out today in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 2,002 people ages 8 to 18, show that young people spend seven hours and 38 minutes using media in a typical day — up from six hours and 19 minutes a decade earlier.

About the only thing that seems to be fading: ink. Though daily book readership has held steady at about 47% since 1999, the percentage of young people who say they read a magazine every day has plummeted from 55% to 35%. It’s worse for newspapers, down from 42% to 23%.

Electronic media are now “a part of the air that kids breathe,” says Vicky Rideout, director of Kaiser’s Program for the Study of Media and Health.

African-American and Hispanic kids spend nearly one-third more time each day with electronics than white kids. Among other findings:

  • Cellphone ownership has increased sharply since 2004, from 39% to 66%.
  • Ownership of iPods has jumped even more since 2004, from 18% to 76%.
  • 20% of kids’ media comes via mobile devices.

The near-ubiquity of mobile devices has had a profound effect on kids’ free time, filling up “the insterstitial spaces” in their daily lives, says Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. She jokes that iPods and cellphones may be this generation’s “magazines and chewing gum,” harmless ways to fill time.” Source: Kids’ electronic media use jumps to 53 hours a week – USATODAY.com

What does this say about our culture? Our future? The future of newspapers? I have a thousand questions. What about you?

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