Media-hungry kids funnel information in their own ways – the telegraph – thetelegraph. com

18679-none

Many parents may have been surprised last week to learn that teenagers spend as many as nine hours a day absorbing media of various kinds.

That’s according to an exhaustive survey conducted by Common Sense Media, a group that encourages media literacy and critical thinking skills for teenagers. The survey was geared to kids 8-18.

A total of 2,658 young people took the survey between Feb. 6 and March 9.

But the findings showed little serious media


use is happening.

Music and television remain the most frequently used media, according to the survey.

Social media use and interaction with print were not focal points in the survey, unfortunately, but clearly the youngest generation spends a lot of time viewing and listening.

Two-thirds of teens said they listen to music daily, and 58 percent said they frequent television. Sixty-two percent of pre-teens said they watched television.

Children admitted they were active multi-taskers when it came to media use. Half said they watch television or use social media when doing their homework. Seventy-six percent they listened to music while doing homework.

James Steyer, founder of Common Sense, said his group will do more study on the multi-tasking question. He said other research suggests multi-tasking is a problem in comprehension. His group’s study did not analyze that.

The study was the latest in a series of similar research conducted in the last 10 years, particularly by groups such as the Freedom Forum and the Knight Foundation. Those studies pointed to the increasing use of social media and decreasing use of traditional print such as newspapers and magazines. But students studied pointed to social media use drawing from traditional newspapers and wire services as part of their media diet online with services such as Google and Yahoo.

Those earlier studies pointed out that teenagers have weak knowledge and appreciation of the First Amendment and the rights it contains, including the five freedoms in the Bill of Rights — speech, religion, press, assembly and petition.

The Common Sense study showed that boys are much more likely than girls to play video games. In all, the survey found that male teens spent an average of 56 minutes a day gaming, which girls spent seven minutes. But girls outpaced boys by similar margins when it came to reading and social media use.

Clearly, some fodder for further review at a time when civic education has been such an afterthought in our public schools.