A new, widely reported study on kids and media from the Kaiser Family Foundation says they’re spending over 6 hours a day engaged with some type of media and that for more than a quarter of that time they are using more than one medium at a time. Sheesh. TV, unfortunately, is still the king of all media (nearly four hours a day including videos and dvds) with just over an hour a day spent on the computer. Also, 86% of kids live in a home with a computer. Good, but still not good enough. (Only 31% have a computer in their bedrooms.)
Other findings in brief: socio-economic divides continue to exist, the Internet is becoming a “universal presence” in kids’ lives, and home Internet access is up from 47% to 74% in the last five years.
But so here is the “Don’t That Beat All” part of the survey: young people who spend the most time with media also report spending more time with their parents, being physically active, and pursuing other hobbies.
Peter Butts says
“86% of kids live in a home with a computer. Good, but still not good enough. (Only 31% have a computer in their bedrooms.)”
I’m not sure I agree with your assumption that having a computer in their bedrooms is a good thing. I’ve only seen the secondary coverage; did they also ask how many have TVs in their bedrooms? We have one TV in the house (not in the living room, thank you) and three laptops that are based in a 2nd floor office. The intention is to keep them in public space– either the office, or the dinning room which of course is the home work space of choice. Since the newer two are wireless, the bedroom is an option, but none of the bedrooms are set up to do double duty as work space, which research says is a really bad idea. Of course having wireless Internet access also means they can be watching TV AND blogging, IM-ing, emailing, and searching the web…..
Will R. says
Oy…I’m not being very clear lately. Computers in bedrooms is not a good thing. I didn’t mean the “only” as in there should be more, I meant it in comparison to those who have computers in their homes. My kids will never get computers in their bedrooms. NEVER. I mean it. Really.
Well, at least not until they’re 20…
Peter Butts says
BTW….It’s still snowing here in Michigan…be prepared for MACUL.
Corrie Bergeron says
“Well, at least not until they’re 20… ”
Ayup, when they turn 21 they can date whomever they wish. 🙂
We have a TV in the basement. Lousy reception, no cable, so DVD / VHS-only programming. A couple of PCs are in the living room. Supposed to be used for school, but the most use seems to be for “Yahooligans TV” cartoons such as Madeline and Gadget boy. (During the commercials they stop up their ears and yell, “NAH NAH NAH NAH” at the machine. They came up with that on their own.) They’re fairly young yet; it’ll be very interesting to see how their information processing abilities change as they get older.
Re the correlation between media time and real-world activity, I wonder if that’s a result of economic issues. Are kids who have access to more media outlets more affluent, with parents working a single white-collar (40-hour) job, and therefore more likely to have more “quality time” available? Perhaps the study says so. Furled and printed; I’ll be able to actually read the thing in a few days I hope.
A request – could you post as an update a link to what you see as some of the better commentary on the study?
My students rarely watch TV. They primarily use their ipods, their laptops, their gaming systems (and ahhh PS just released a handheld…). In fact, when I assign a television project, they groan at the idea (but my 16 year old brother can recite any skit from the Chapelle Show). Unless the medium allows constant change and diversity, they become bored. For the first few weeks of class, I could find my students on our class blog until 1 in the morning. Now, I haven’t had a comment in 6 days (regardless of the fact that we’re into spring break, now). I can’t decide if attention spans are getting shorter or if the kids are getting smarter and more cunning in their decisions of which media to employ.