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Wednesday, 20 January 2010 19:07

Kaiser report: Kids are entertainment media superusers

The Kaiser Family Foundation announced its report “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds” has shown that children in the United States use entertainment media devices for 53 hours in an average week, and compress nearly 11 hours of multimedia use in a 7.5-hour period each day.

The national survey conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is based on responses from over two thousand U.S. students in grades three to twelve. The survey was taken from October 2008 to May 2009.

The Kaiser Family Foundation published its results in the report “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds.”

It is available at “Generation M2.”

According to its website, the KFF is: "A leader in health policy and communications, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy.  Unlike grant-making foundations, Kaiser develops and runs its own research and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with other non-profit research organizations or major media companies."

The January 20, 2010 press release (“Daily Media Use Among Children and Teens Up Ddramataically From Five Years Ago”) from the Kaiser report begins, “With technology allowing nearly 24-hour media access as children and teens go about their daily lives, the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, especially among minority youth, according to a study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

Among its conclusions are:

•    For eight to eighteen year old children in the United States, they spend “… an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week).”

•    Media usage increased by an hour and seventeen minutes per day over the past five years, from "... 6:21 in 2004 to 7:38 today.”

Page two continues with additional conclusions from the Kaiser Family Foundation report.

The following are further conclusions made by the KFF report.

They are:

•    Because these kids multitask so much with these entertainment media devices, “… they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.”

•    The total time spent using media content “… during that period has increased from 8:33 in 2004 to 10:45 today.”

•    The percentage of mobile devices (like cell phones and iPods) has increased over the past five years in these children and teens, going from “… 39% to 66% for cell phones, and from 18% to 76% for iPods and other MP3 players.”

•    These children and teenagers spend a total of 49 minutes (0:49) daily on their cell phones “… listening to music, playing games, and watching TV” and 33 minutes (0:33) daily “talking” on cell phones.

The January 20, 2010 The New York Times article If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online quotes an average teenager in New York.

The passage reads: “’I feel like my days would be boring without it,’ said Francisco Sepulveda, a 14-year-old Bronx eighth grader who uses his smart phone to surf the Web, watch videos, listen to music — and send or receive about 500 texts a day.”

Page three concludes with additional comments from the young teenager ... and his mother.

Sepulveda later talked about this cell phone in The New York Times article.

He said, “I use it as my alarm clock, because it has an annoying ringtone that doesn’t stop until you turn it off. At night, I can text or watch something on YouTube until I fall asleep. It lets me talk on the phone and watch a video at the same time, or listen to music while I send text messages.”

Janet Sepulveda is his mother.

She stated, “I’d say he uses it [cell phone] about 2 percent for homework and 98 percent for other stuff. At the beginning, I would take the phone at 10 p.m. and tell him he couldn’t use it anymore. Now he knows that if he’s not complying with what I want, I can suspend his service for a week or two. That’s happened.” [New York Times]

The press release (“Daily Media Use Among Children and Teens Up Dramatically From Five Years Ago”), mentioned earlier within this article, by the Kaiser Family Foundation contains a wealth of additional information from the report.

The article’s sub-title states, “Big Increase in Mobile Media Helps Drive Increased Consumption: Most Youth Say They Have No Rules About How Much Time They Can Spend With TV, Video Games, or Computers.”

Please read it in detail to learn more about what its researchers found about the Generation M2 and its use of entertainment media devices.

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