January 22, 2010
by Carol Politi
Wow. Even those of us focused on kids and media were surprised with the recent Kaiser Family Foundation Study on kids and media use. The study, called “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds“, indicates that kids spend more than 53 hours a week consuming media (counting a blend of TV, computers, gaming devices, cell phones, etc.). And that count does not include multitasking – which brings the media use count up to 10 hours and 45 minutes per day.
Much of the increase is driven by the accessibility of media on mobile devices – ipods and cell phones (though the increase in social media use is also a factor). Note that text messaging is not considered media use in this study – and that “7th-12th graders report spending an average of 1:35 a day sending or receiving texts”!
Clearly, media consumption is a fact of life. So what’s wrong with this picture?
1. Kids that are heavy media users report getting lower grades.
2. Kids that are heavy media users report being less personally content.
What’s the upside here? One bit of upside is that parents can have an impact! The study indicates that “When parents set limits, children spend less time with media. Those young people who say their parents have some rules about their media use are exposed to an average of nearly three hours (2:52) less media content per day than those who say they don’t have rules.”
Most parents get cell phones for their kids for safety reasons. But doing so can put more media – and another device with which to multi-task – in the hands of kids. kajeet customers can set limits – on both the type of content/service used on the cell phone and the time spent using the cell phone. This includes limiting access at night, during school, and during home work time. To set these up simply login at kajeet.com or call kajeet customer care (1-866-452-5338).
Please comment here to let us know what you think of the Kaiser Family Foundation study and how you manage media access and use in your household. We could all benefit from some good ideas!