The amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, especially among minority youth, according to a study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of that time 'media multitasking' (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 71â„2 hours.
The increase in media use is driven in large part by ready access to mobile devices like cell phones and iPods. Over the past five years, there has been a huge increase in ownership among 8- to 18-year-olds: from 39 per cent to 66 per cent for mobile phones, and from 18 per cent to 76 per cent for iPods and other MP3 players. During this period, cell phones and iPods have become true multi-media devices: in fact, young people now spend more time listening to music, playing games, and watching TV on their cell phones (a total of :49 daily) than they spend talking on them (:33).
For the first time over the course of the study, the amount of time spent watching regularly-scheduled TV declined, by 25 minutes a day (from 2004 to 2009). But the many new ways to watch TVâ€“on the Internet, mobile phones, and iPodsâ€“actually led to an increase in total TV consumption from 3:51 to 4:29 per day, including :24 of online viewing, :16 on iPods and other MP3 players, and :15 on cell phones. All told, 59 per cent (2:39) of young people's TV-viewing consists of live TV on a TV set, and 41 per cent (1:50) is time-shifted, DVDs, online, or mobile.