8-18 Year-olds Average 7 hrs 38 minutes Daily to Entertainment Media

Yes, it’s true, 8-18 year-olds average 7 hrs and 38 minutes per day consuming entertainment media. Do those numbers sound high? They should. Because today’s average daily media consumption in the lives of 8-18 year-olds has increased by over an hour per day since the last study 5 years ago.

7 hours and 38 minutes is the brand new total released just TODAY from the Kaiser Family Foundation that you’ll be seeing quoted in reports everywhere for the next 5+ years. The report is called Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18-Year-Olds.

Five years ago Kaiser released their March 2005 report, Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-olds. Since then, the Journal of Pediatrics, Pew Internet, CNN… EVERYONE… have used those numbers in their own reports about young people and media consumption.

Well… the new numbers are in. And media consumption is way up across the board. (Duh!)

This Sunday David and I will release our article with the summary of these findings in our weekly Youth Culture Window article. For those who want to get a sneak peak at the full Kaiser report, click here. Here’s some of what you’ll find:

Check out that increase in just the last 5 years!

Wow… kids are really reading that print-media, huh!  🙂

That’s just a snippet. You’ll also learn fun tidbits from the full report like the fact that cell phone talking and texting is NOT counted as media use (page 18, paragraph 2). That’s right, on top of the average of 7 hours and 38 minutes that young people spend per day in the above activities, there is also texting and talking on the phone.

  • 11-14 year olds spend an average of 1 hour and 13 minutes per day texting, and 36 minutes per day talking.
  • 15-18 year-olds spend an average of 1 hour and 51 minutes per day texting, and 43 minutes per day talking.

Add those numbers to 7 hours 38 minutes!

I’ve been looking forward to this report for a while now. Last week, Amanda Lenhart from Pew Internet told me that it was coming out today. (Another fascinating conversation… I had emailed her because I saw a report released from an organization I won’t name, a report that said that young people were spending 2.5 to 3.2 hours a day online. I read these reports all the time and that sounded high. A similar Nielsen report showed young people- depending on age- only spent a little over an hour per day. That’s an hour to two hours per day different! After examining both reports, I feared that this “un-named” organization was doing an internet survey. Think about that for a moment. “Let’s use the internet to poll people on the internet how often they are on the internet!”  🙂  Sure enough, my guess was correct. But I also emailed Amanda- I really respect her research– and asked her as a third party what she thought. She basically said, “Let’s see what Kaiser says next week!” Sure enough, this new report released today only reveals an average of 1 hour and 29 minutes of daily internet time.)

Again, we’ll give you the full summary next week on our Youth Culture Window page. But for those who have time, I really encourage you to read Kaiser’s full report. Just glimpse at some of their charts. Fascinating stuff about this young generation and their love for media.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to 8-18 Year-olds Average 7 hrs 38 minutes Daily to Entertainment Media

  1. jon forrest says:

    Wow. So according to my rough math, 15 year olds are spending 9 hours and 50 minutes each day in some type of “distraction.” I know that 15 yr. old Abe Lincoln probably spent 8 hours a day in “print media.” But I seriously doubt spending 8 hours playing metal gear solid halo 64 is comparable.
    If I hadn’t just read this killer book with a genius author I would think “this means we need to concentrate on facebooking kids since they love impersonal electronic communication.” But this guy says on page 32 “We must not ignore the effectiveness of digital communication as a tool for relational ministry. But this doesn’t mean we should shift all our relational efforts toward technology…..meet this need with something real, face to face relationships.” Genius. Connect is my daddy.