5 Things I’ve Read Recently
1. The average 8- to 18-year-old now spends 7-1/2 hours every day with media, from playing video games, to watching TV, to surfing the internet.1
2. Watching TV shows is the number one way young people spend their media time.2
3. The average young person spends 2-1/4 more hours each day in front of a screen compared to young people five years ago.3
4. Seventy-five percent of teenagers and 93 percent of teenagers older than 18 now have a cell phone.4 Today 58 percent of 12-year-olds now have a cell phone as well.5
5. Three out of four young people (ages 8 to 18) now own an mp3 music player (such an iPod) compared to only 18 percent of young people five years ago.6
Here’s My Take on It:
Once kids start watching a TV show or playing a video game, it’s hard to get them to stop. That’s why it’s important to set limits before kids get comfortable in front of a screen. I’ve found that talking about this issue with my kids helps, but not always in ways I expect. When I first started discussing screen time with my kids, they were quick to point out how much time I spend in front of the computer. It was easy for me to say it was for work, but then they’d counter about how the computer was essential for their schoolwork. So when you start setting limits on screen time, get ready for a conversation that may also change how much time you spend in front of a screen as well.
Ask your kids: “How much time do you spend watching TV, surfing the internet, or playing video games each day?”
- Find out more about technology and media use in our Technology and Media section.
- Learn more about Turnoff Week, a project of the Center for Screen-Time Awareness.
Do kids spend too much time in front of screen each day? What do you think? Share your comments below.
1-3. Kaiser Family Foundation, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds (Washington, DC: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010), 2.
4-5. Amanda Lenhart, Kristen Purcell, Aaron Smith, and Kathryn Zickur, Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults, (Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, 2010), 4.
6. Kaiser Family Foundation, ibid.