I talked to media outlets all summer about this. Where should we spend our money? TV or Internet. Everyone was telling me that people do both. Now here is some data to back it up. Thanks to Mike for this great information.
Last month, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new report and hosted a forum on media multitasking among young people. The report – Media Multitasking Among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors, and Pairings – is based on data from seven-day media use diaries collected from 694 young people age 8 to 18 years old, and quantifies the actual amount of time young people spend multitasking when using media or doing homework. Some key findings include:
- TV is the least multitasked medium and computers are the most. The majority of time (55%) young people are watching TV as their primary activity, they’re doing nothing else. But when they’re using the computer, they’re multitasking nearly two-thirds of the time (63% when playing computer games or looking at Web sites, 64% when instant messaging).
- TV actually garners more focused attention than reading. Only 38% of the time young people spend reading as their primary activity is spent doing nothing else (compared to 55% for TV).
- Kids really are doing something else when they say they’re doing homework on the computer – in fact, 65% of the time that doing homework on the computer is a young person’s primary activity, they’re also doing something else at the same time. For example, 50% of the time spent doing homework on the computer is also spent using another media, such as listening to music, IMing or watching TV.
The forum featured executives from MTV and eMarketer, a leading market research firm, along with one of the nation’s top cognitive neuroscientists and experts on media use among young people. The group discussed how pervasive media multitasking is, potential cognitive and social development implications and which teens are most likely to media multitask. The session also explored how organizations interested in conducting social marketing campaigns could adjust their strategies for reaching young people in the changing media environment.