Sleeping or Surfing

With Apple’s rumored tablet computer supposedly coming out next Wednesday, the release this week of a survey on young Americans’ digital proclivities couldn’t have been more timely. The short version of the results, compiled by the Kaiser foundation, show that the average kid age 8 to 18 spends their time like this:

  • Watching TV: 4.5 hours
  • Playing Music: 2.5 hours
  • Using a Computer: 1.5 hours
  • Playing Video Games: 1.25 hours
  • Reading: 38 min
  • Watching movies: 25 min
  • Texting: 1.5 hours
  • Cell phone: 30 min

If your thinking that this adds up to more time than a lot of people are awake, you’re right — these activities are happening simultaneously.

Anybody who thinks this isn’t changing the way we think and behave might ponder the fact that the heaviest users had mostly C grades or lower and were more likely to be bored or sad or get into trouble. Another clear takeaway: TV and especially movies, are losing out to other forms of digital entertainment.

The details are here: If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online

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Explore posts in the same categories: Media and Society

2 Comments on “Sleeping or Surfing”

  1. lpglycerine Says:

    Very interesting. I took the internet away from the family due to poor grades, and have steered clear altogether of TV. If I don’t regulate the media exposure in the house the kids would sit and be entertained to infinity by video games and television.

    But I struggle internally with this, because I grew up addicted to video games and the internet and realize all the benefits that come with it.

    I can program a computer and manipulate it to my will, establish a post-production environment and workflow that allows me to command video and audio signals like a dictator, and can build the greatest army of Orcs the World has ever seen.

    My favorite Orc unit is the Tauren Chieftain. Since ancient times it has been prophesized by the Tauren elders that a Chieftain would come, strong as the mightiest warriors and wise as the eldest shamans. After many years of wandering the sacred lands, seeking wisdom from his forefathers, Cairne Bloodhoof proved himself as the long awaited hero. Cairne carried with him the spirit of his mightiest ancestor, and the ground would shake with the combined strength of the Chieftain and his guardian spirit. No physical nor magical barrier could reduce the power of his enchanted halberd, the weapon used by his guardian in ancient times. Such is the power of this axe that it could split the very earth itself.

    Cairne’s child Blairne spent the majority of his time playing video games and couldn’t even kill a ghoul with his axe. On a bloody Sunday afternoon, Blairne sat at home all day playing Halo 3, enraging Cairne mightily. With the wielding of his mighty halberd, Cairne raised it high into the air, took a deep breath, and then smashed it into Blairne, splitting the child down the middle.

    So unless children want to be split down the middle by Cairne Bloodhoof, I recommend that they spend a little more time focusing on school work.

  2. Steve Says:

    That’s funny. But it’s a national problem. Internet addiction is starting to be recognized as a medical condition, and the US now has a clinic for it. More here:

    http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/01/29/07

    and here:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/


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