Researchers where shocked when they learned how much time kids and adolescents waste on media such as online music videos or video games. According to a recently published study led by Common Sense Media, teens and tweens spend between 6 and 9 hour per day with media.
Common Sense Media reported that U.S. adolescents spend on average nine hours a day watching media, while tweens, or kids that are between 8 and 12 years old, spend six hours a day. The recent study’s main goal was to find the average media use in teens and preteens.
Jim Steyer, head of Common Sense Media, acknowledged that investigators were ‘staggered’ by the amount of time spent online by younger generation and the lack of interest in federal agencies to further research the issue.
Steyer added that we are currently performing the ‘biggest experiment’ on younger generations, i.e. the digital transition, and we do not have any studies on it. And without studies, it is hard to assess how much screen time has increased in the past decade.
There is a similar study conducted by a non-for-profit group which estimated that pre-teens spent on average five hours and a half with media, while teens spent slightly over eight hours of media use on a daily basis.
But the recent study used a different approach when it assessed media use, so it is not wise to compare the two studies and draw conclusions. Yet, both studies suggest that media use time jumped in recent years.
Researchers also learned that teens can no longer focus on a single task. They often multitask between what they need to do at school and their favorite media. Steyer noted that we live in a digital era and we are witnesses to the emergence of the first ‘digital natives.’ But people who care about the kids and how technology shapes our lives should take action.
On the other hand, the findings may not be a surprise to many parents since they are accustomed to their kids spending an enormous amount of time texting, listening to music, binge watching, and communicating on social media sites.
And parents who try to limit that time report that it is a challenging task to provide better alternatives to their kids that what the glowing touchscreen has to offer.
“It’s funny how addictive it can really be,”
noted Bruce Williams form NYC.
Williams is one of the parents that try to rein in their kids’ media use and first bought his daughter a flip-flop phone when she was in the sixth grade. But when she was 13 she received a smartphone and the Instagram and Snapchat accounts visibly changed her behavior.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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