Common Sense Media recently released their latest report regarding today’s media consumption and our youth.
Tweens and teens spend about 9-hours a day on media.
This includes a variety of media entertainment such as– music, television, tablets, computers and of course mobile devices.
According to Common Sense, here are a few key findings:
- Youth love media in all forms! Teens use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day, and tweens use an average of six hours, not including time spent using media for school or homework. Of that, tweens average more than four and a half hours of screen media use a day and teens more than six and a half hours.
- The differences between how girls and boys view media vary. Teen boys average 56 minutes a day playing video games, compared to girls’ seven minutes; and teen girls spend 40 minutes more a day than boys on social media (1:32 vs. 52 minutes).
- Social media is in play, but not always fun. Social media is an integral part of most teens’ lives (45 percent use it “every day”), but only 36 percent say they enjoy using social media “a lot,” compared with 73 percent who enjoy listening to music and 45 percent who enjoy watching TV “a lot.”
What’s important to understand is no matter what form of media your child is interacting with, are you familiar with what it is?
Who or what is influencing them?
It may not be a video game that determines their employment future, but do you know if it is age appropriate for your child?
What music is your child listening to? Of course, it’s difficult to control all this, however with your offline discussions, ask them about the artists and music they like. Find out and learn more about who is influencing your child.
Interestingly is how the study relates to social media. It’s not always fun anymore. Why? For those that watched #Being13 The Secret Lives of Teenagers, you will see the stress of what some teens go through to be sure their pictures are perfect, or the struggles of online harassment, compounded with FOMO (fear of missing out).
Isn’t it time we find out who your child’s media and digital influences are?
It’s impossible to be with our kids all the time, but having frequent and consistent offline conversations about their media and digital lives will help them not only make better choices when you aren’t around, it also gives you an opportunity to learn more about their media lives.
Be an involved parent – you will have safer digital kids.