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How Is Media Affecting Kids?

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How is Media Affecting Kids? has taken a look at the effect of media and technology on children 8 and under in the US, and this is our findings.


Percent of children ages 0-8 who have each item in their bedroom

TV 42%
DVD/VCR player 29%
Video game console player 11%
Computer 4%

Children under 2 spend over 2x the time watching TV and videos as reading books.

average time spent on TV and Videos: 53 minutes/day
Average time spent reading books: 23 minutes/day

How do our children spend their time with digital media? (ages 0-8)

Average Time Spent With Media (ages 0-8) daily on each device

Watching TV, DVDs, or videos

TV on a TV set 1:52
DVDs 1:35
TV/Videos on a computer :56
TV/Videos on a cell, iPod or iPad :40
Reading/being read to :47
Listening to music 1:12

Playing media games

Console video games 1:15
Computer games :57
Handheld game player :59
Cell/iPod/iPad games :30

Other computer activities

Educational software 1:01
Homework 1:20
Anything else :38
Using any screen media 2:58

Percentage of daycare centers that use TV during a typical day: 70%

Parental Concerns

Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
66% of parents talk to their child about the dangers of social media sites
53% of parents count on their children to tell them if a problem occurs
43% follow their children on the their social media sites
39% set parental privacy settings

Top Parent's Concerns of Social Media's Impact on kids: ages 1-12

Violation of privacy 67%
Sexting/Inappropriate sexual behavior 64%
cyber bullying/verbal abuse 56%
Identity theft/fraud 54%
Lack of ambition/enthusiasm 54%

42% were pessimistic, agreeing with a second statement that in 2020 young technology users would be easily distracted, lack deep thinking skills and thirst only for instant gratification

The Teacher's Perspective

Percent of teachers who say students' media use has hurt their:

Attention Span 71%
Writing 58%
Face-to-face communication 59%
Homework 48%
Critical Thinking 42%

79% teachers use media and technology as a teaching tool
74% say incorporating tablets into the classroom would be helpful to their students' learning, while 26% say it would mainly be a distraction to learning.

Teachers who say student's entertainment media use has a positive or negative effect

sexualization: negative 67%; positive 3%; hasn't made a difference 28%
anti-social behaviors negative 61%; positive 2%; hasn't made a difference 34%
Ideas about the value of education negative 48%; positive 6%: hasn't made a difference 44%
Attitudes toward adults negative 61%; positive 2%; hasn't made a difference 34% Self-esteem negative 43%; positive 6%; hasn't made a difference 49%


How Is Media Affecting Kids?