tvSmarter

www.tvSmarter.com – Life in a TV Nation

Kaiser Study 2010

6 Comments


Kaiser Study (Released Jan 2010)

According to the study, kids 8-18 are spending, on average:

4:29 hours per day watching TV

4:54 hours per day watching TV/movies

7:38 hours per day plugged into media (TV, movies, music, computer, video games, print)

http://www.kff.org/entmedia/mh012010pkg.cfm

Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-olds (pdf)


From page 4  “Children who live in homes that limit media opportunities spend less time with media. For example, kids whose parents don’t put a TV in their bedroom, don’t leave the TV on during meals or in the background when no one is watching, or do impose some type of  media-related rules spend substantially less time with media than do children with more media-lenient parents.”

From page 4  “Nearly half (47%) of all heavy media users say they usually get fair or poor grades (mostly C’s or lower), compared to 23% of light media users. Heavy media users are also more likely to say they get into trouble a lot, are often sad or unhappy, and are often bored. Moreover, the relationships between media exposure and grades, and between media exposure and personal contentment, withstood controls for other possibly relevant factors such as age, gender, race, parent education, and single vs. two-parent households.”

Update: excellent article in Open Education Media Use by Teens and Adolescents Continues to Explode

Update: excellent article in the Los Angeles Times  Young people spend 7 hours, 38 minutes a day on TV, video games, computer


6 thoughts on “Kaiser Study 2010

  1. Just read an interesting interview article in WIRED magazine, “The Great Cognitive Surplus” discussing the transition from a passive television viewing audience society into a collaborative, interactive computer connected society. I would have posted this sooner, but read it first in their printed edition before it showed up online.

    While the concerns about the deluge of excessive media time is still there, the article’s interviewees, Daniel Pink and Clay Shirky are looking at a revolution in how we use our free time more productively, thanks to the advent of Internet and Computer technology. Both of these thinkers are really interesting because they are spending a lot of time on the idea of social and individual value and motivation and are really talking about a huge paradigm shift that is very exciting on a lot of levels.

    One aspect that they are talking about is the cumulative time television is watched on the planet: 200 billion hours per year. Or, in another perspective, as a world we have created 200 billion hours of free time, that is now ripe for being socially productive. They use the idea of Wikipedia as an example of collaborative social productivity, and its estimated 100 million hours of human labor that has been involved in the project, that was in essence probably 100 million hours that was passively spent in front of the television. Your example of creating a socially productive medium with your TVSmarter Blog is another perfect example!

    Interesting and hopeful thinking here, and makes me wonder if television and our adaptation to it was actually a natural evolution towards technology that made us first comfortable to the medium, and now maybe we will be more individually active with the medium now that we can interact with personal “Idea Publishing” in socially positive ways rather than just being passive viewers with TV. Though, as you have shown in the study from Kaiser, the number of TV viewing hours are up, but it would be interesting to find out what sort of viewing is up. Such as, are people watching more “Real Life” stuff, reality television, rather than pure entertainment. Which makes me wonder if that sort of genre, reality tv on television makes more people want to re-create their own form of reality television on the Internet: Reality Internet. For example, I spend a lot of time interacting with people that post educational blogs on cooking, environment and gardening, which is a media I did not have access to eight years ago.

    “Shirky: Oh, that walk down memory lane is painful. Somehow, watching television became a part-time job for every citizen in the developed world. But once we stop thinking of all that time as individual minutes to be whiled away and start thinking of it as a social asset that can be harnessed, it all looks very different. The buildup of this free time among the world’s educated population—maybe a trillion hours per year—is a new resource. It’s what I refer to as the cognitive surplus.”

    Article: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ff_pink_shirky/

    Like

    • Hi Chris

      Very interesting article! Thank you for the link.

      “One aspect that they are talking about is the cumulative time
      television is watched on the planet: 200 billion hours per year.
      Or, in another perspective, as a world we have created 200 billion
      hours of free time, that is now ripe for being socially productive.
      They use the idea of Wikipedia as an example of collaborative
      social productivity, and its estimated 100 million hours of human
      labor that has been involved in the project, that was in essence
      probably 100 million hours that was passively spent in front of
      the television. Your example of creating a socially productive
      medium with your TVSmarter Blog is another perfect example!”

      Ha, thank you! I definitely agree that internet “screen-time”
      is a big step up from TV “screen-time”. It irritates me to
      no end when commentators equate watching videos to reading
      online to playing an educational video games, to creating
      online art, etc.

      “Interesting and hopeful thinking here, and makes me wonder
      if television and our adaptation to it was actually a natural
      evolution towards technology that made us first comfortable
      to the medium, and now maybe we will be more individually
      active with the medium now that we can interact with personal
      “Idea Publishing” in socially positive ways rather than just
      being passive viewers with TV. Though, as you have shown in
      the study from Kaiser, the number of TV viewing hours are up,
      but it would be interesting to find out what sort of viewing
      is up. Such as, are people watching more “Real Life” stuff,
      reality television, rather than pure entertainment.”

      I think what might be happening is that certain segments
      of the adult population are watching less TV, and instead
      spending much more time online. Unfortunately, children
      (who have much more spare time than adults) are generally
      not reducing their TV time, instead they are watching even
      more TV and on top of that spending large amounts of time
      online and/or playing video games. This really is not
      good for kids.

      My hope is that as adults wean themselves away from TV that
      they will also wean themselves away using TV as an
      electronic babysitter. And that hopefully society will
      come to understand that creative play, in the real world,
      really is essential for kids.

      It’s interesting that with this article in “Wired”, the writer
      links to another (quite good) article pointing out the downsides
      of the internet. But way back when “Edge Magazine” wrote
      about Clay Shirky, their writer linked to an article
      pointing out how great TV is. So I am kind of encouraged
      that Wired didn’t seem to want to argue that TV wasn’t some
      sort of societal time-waster.

      https://tvsmarter.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/excerpts-from-gin-television-and-cognitive-surplus-by-clay-shirky/

      “Reality Internet. For example, I spend a lot of time
      interacting with people that post educational blogs on
      cooking, environment and gardening, which is a media
      I did not have access to eight years ago.”

      Exactly, another example of what Clay is talking about.

      I think it’s great that people are exploring hobbies
      and interests and then sharing their experiences.
      So much better than staring into the TV-void.

      Like

  2. “It’s interesting that with this article in “Wired”, the writer
    links to another (quite good) article pointing out the downsides
    of the internet.”

    This was an excellent article in looking at the interactive dysfunctions of participating with the internet, or “The Distraction Net” as I like to call it. I am still undecided on the merits of internal linked references and citations being embedded within reading material online. It almost takes a spartan effort to read through an article before going back and following links off into cyber space. I do not think people realize this, but reading an article to completion along with links, if one is a detail reader adds a huge amount of time to online reading, or this sort of linked associative reading then becomes more of scanning than deep reading, which then creates the TL;DR (too long;did not read) sort of reader that only reads for headlines.

    If on one level, I could define the Internet, it is a divine and devious beast that is aggressively trying to gain our attention and the competition for our cognitive focus is immense. But, this can also give us clues as to why reading a non-interactive printed book seems tame, and or boring for a lot of people. Quietly reading a book versus gathering information online if people are not aware can seem painfully non-stimulating in they are not fully engaged in using their minds and imaginations when reading…

    “TV-void.”

    What an apt definition I have not heard before. TV can become the void filler. Oh, I like this a lot. As in, “I think I do not want to think anymore so I am going to turn on the Televoid.”

    Like

    • Hi Chris

      “If on one level, I could define the Internet, it is a divine
      and devious beast that is aggressively trying to gain our attention
      and the competition for our cognitive focus is immense.”

      Beautifully put!

      I found Nicholas Carr’s article very interesting too. He writes
      “Navigating linked documents, it turned out, entails a lot of mental
      calisthenics—evaluating hyperlinks, deciding whether to click, adjusting
      to different formats—that are extraneous to the process of reading.
      Because it disrupts concentration, such activity weakens comprehension.
      A 1989 study showed that readers tended just to click around aimlessly
      when reading something that included hypertext links to other selected
      pieces of information. A 1990 experiment revealed that some “could not
      remember what they had and had not read.””

      http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ff_nicholas_carr/

      This actually helps explain the results of my brainwave test
      on blog reading:

      1. Read: reading a novel
      Hi-Beta 2.90 Gamma 0.46

      2. Blog: http://www.salon.com (no moving ads – with subscription)
      Hi-Beta 2.09 Gamma 0.26

      3. Ad: http://www.cbc.ca (few moving ads)
      Hi-Beta 2.08 Gamma 0.25

      4. Ads: http://movies.msn.com (lots of moving ads)
      Hi-Beta 1.76 Gamma 0.19

      5. guitar: Playing the guitar (just for the heck of it)
      Hi-Beta 7.56 Gamma 2.86

      https://tvsmarter.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/moving-blog-ads/

      Especially the difference between 1. and 2. I could not
      understand. But the hyperlinks effect (and perhaps the
      scrolling too), does explain the reduction in the fast
      brainwaves (i.e. less concentration).

      “Quietly reading a book versus gathering information online
      if people are not aware can seem painfully non-stimulating
      in they are not fully engaged in using their minds and
      imaginations when reading…”

      My own personal feeling is that although reading on the
      internet isn’t as focused as reading a book, that the
      internet is not the cause of people’s reduced ability
      to concentrate.

      Instead, I believe the cause is the huge amounts of time
      that kids are spending every day watching TV/movies.
      Kids are spending hours everyday with their brains in an
      unfocused state. Hours in an unfocused state while their
      brains are still developing. The result is a brain that
      has a hard time focusing, even when away from the TV.

      Later on, when these kids become teenagers and adults
      and start spending time on the internet, it makes sense
      that they would be more apt to click around aimlessly
      and spend countless hours watching YouTube.

      Making the jump from watching TV to reading on the
      internet is less of jump than going from TV to reading
      a book. So to the extent that the internet lures people
      away from TV, I do think that it is a good thing.
      Hopefully more reading on the internet will eventually
      lead to more reading offline too.

      “I think I do not want to think anymore so I am going
      to turn on the Televoid.”

      Ha! too true.

      Terry

      Like

      • Interesting. Focusing ability and Stimulation.

        “Instead, I believe the cause is the huge amounts of time
that kids are spending every day watching TV/movies.
Kids are spending hours everyday with their brains in an
unfocused state. Hours in an unfocused state while their
brains are still developing. The result is a brain that
has a hard time focusing, even when away from the TV.”

        Most television stimulation focuses on the reptilian brain. The part of the brain that is wired for flight or fight behavior. The part of brain that utilizes the drug Adrenaline, a highly addictive substance. Which of course makes sense in context with you are saying, addiction to extreme television stimulation does not utilize, or develop the part of the brain that is needed for focusing in deeper cerebral cognitive processing and reflecting: The part of the brain that is needed for deeper reading.

        So for heavy television users, it may be that the part of the brain that is needed for focusing on deeper reading and cognitive critical reflection is either untapped, or when put into a book reading situation, lacks the training or nurturing needed focus. Or even more concerning, the brain is so fixated upon extreme moving and auditory stimulation that it is unwilling to find a reward or purpose in a quiet mental activities.

        Then when a heavy television user switches to the Internet, the standard response is to focus on the elements that are the most stimulating. In a way this is really scary, because when I watch the aggressive, and often moving advertising that is mixed in with the articles, it makes sense that a brain trained for moving elements through television viewing, will as you say, “be more apt to click around aimlessly and spend countless hours watching YouTube.”

        Maybe I should have written, “I think I do not want to think anymore so I going to turn on the Reptilian Adrenaline Stimulator Device.”

        Maybe in order to engage more non-reptilian cognitive functioning we need a new sport called, “Reptilian Book Reading…” Hmmmm, or imagine a television show where a person actually read a book to an audience. Yes, I am sure that would go over real well…

        I find this discussion important and appreciate the perspectives, because as I have mentioned before, our world is in need of deep thinking and if the focusing capacity of people is not there, we are not going to access the parts of our brains on larger social scales that are going to help us alter our futures.

        On this note, I will leave you with another interesting look into the realm of reading and the internet, that I just came across.

        “As technology advances, deep reading suffers.”

        “When text is put onto a screen, it enters what the science fiction writer Cory Doctorow terms an “ecosystem of interruption technologies.” The words have to compete for our attention with links, e-mails, texts, tweets, Facebook updates, videos, ads and all the other visual stimuli that pour through our computers.”

        Ecosystem of Interruption Technologies…

        Or, maybe put into another perspective: Ecosystem of Adrenaline Delivery Modules. Seriously, when it really comes down to it, at least what I gather from much online interactive venues, including many discussions sites, it seems many internet users are unconsciously, or consciously look for a rush, and of course the media is trying to create offerings that provide those cyberspace rushes. Well, now is this not a rather scary situation of two dogs attempting to chase each others tails in an addictive circular and never ending pattern…

        Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/20/INL91DU44K.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0rSOD9Dur

        Like

  3. Hi Chris

    “So for heavy television users, it may be that the part
    of the brain that is needed for focusing on deeper reading
    and cognitive critical reflection is either untapped, or
    when put into a book reading situation, lacks the training
    or nurturing needed focus. Or even more concerning, the brain
    is so fixated upon extreme moving and auditory stimulation
    that it is unwilling to find a reward or purpose in a quiet
    mental activities.”

    Yes exactly what I am thinking, could not have said it better.

    And thanks for the link to the SFGate story by Nicholas Carr,
    I like this one even better than his Wired article.

    He writes: “But the drift of computerized gadgets is always
    toward distraction. If current technological trends hold, e-book
    reading will soon be accompanied by all the attention-sapping
    interruptions common to other computing tasks.”

    And he’s right, especially since so many people grow up
    on TV, and thus need the “attention-sapping interruptions”
    to distract themselves from the fact that they have such a
    hard time focusing on plain old-fashioned reading.

    Nevertheless, I think that distracted reading is better than
    no reading. Kind of like reading comic books is better than
    not reading at all, even though they lack the depth and
    sophistication of actual novels.

    Terry

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s