The Bay Area-based Kaiser Foundation just released a study that looked at how kids spend their time and found they interact with an electronic device literally all of their waking non-school hours.
It's a national study and here in the Silicon Valley the numbers would probably skew up if anything.
The study showed young people eight to 18 years old devote an average of 7:38 using entertainment media on a typical day. When you take into account the time using two forms of media, called media multi-tasking, that number goes up to 10:45 spent using media in those seven and a half hours.
Kaiser has done this study twice before, and says the time spent using media has jumped dramatically over the past five years. It found the time increased by an hour and 16 minutes a day from the last survey in 2004.
I'm on line for my entire 8 hour work shift, and then I drive home listening to podcasts on my car's iPod which I downloaded on the Internet. My car is able to tell me the traffic conditions and I can even pull up live weather radar through the Ford Sync system. When I arrive home I fire up Pandora. We used to think of "going on line" as the beep-boop of a modem on computer. Now I'm on line all my waking hours.
Some other interesting tidbits from the young people:
- 28 percent don't have rules about watching TV
- 66 percent own a cell phone
- 76 percent own iPods or MP3 player
- 64 percent watch TV during meals
Lots more data at this link.