July 12, 2020
Kids’ love for electronic media
The amount of time kids spend with electronic entertainment media has risen dramatically in recent years, a new report concludes. Those who spend the most time with electronic media get lower grades.

Those age 8 to 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes per day using TVs, computers, iPods, cell phones and other electronic devices, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. TV leads the way.

Much of that time is spent media multitasking. When that's factored in, they average the equivalent of 10 hours and 45 minutes of using media content during those 7˝ hours.

"The amount of time young people spend with media has grown to where it's even more than a full-time work week," said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "When children are spending this much time doing anything, we need to understand how it's affecting them – for good and bad."

The amount of time spent with media increased by 1 hour and 17 minutes a day over the past five years, the researchers found. Usage was highest among minority groups. The increase is driven largely by increased access to mobile devices like cell phones and iPods.

The increase in media use is driven in large part by ready access to mobile devices like cell phones and iPods, according to a statement from Kaiser. Over the past five years, there has been a huge increase in ownership among 8- to 18-year-olds: from 39 percent to 66 percent for cell phones, and from 18 percent to 76 percent 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).

While the study cannot establish a cause and effect relationship between media use and grades, there are differences between heavy and light media users in this regard. About half (47 percent) of heavy media users say they usually get fair or poor grades (mostly Cs or lower), compared to about a quarter (23 percent) of light users.

These differences may or may not be influenced by their media use patterns. (Heavy users are the 21 percent of young people who consume more than 16 hours of media a day, and light users are the 17 percent of young people who consume less than 3 hours of media a day.) (Source: livescience.com)
Story Date: February 1, 2010
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