Teens survive on digital oxygen – Kaiser Generation M2 Study

Digital technology is oxygen for Western teens – they can’t live without it. They now officially spend way more time consuming media than they do at school or sleeping.

The Kaiser Foundation in the USA recently released its latest study of the media consumption habits of 8-18yr olds called Generation M2, n = 2,000 kids aged 8-18. The full presentation is here. There are some really interesting insights and all the numbers support my belief that youth today are living in a state of continuous partial attention based on their dependence on a digital lifestyle.  Some of the US stats which I pulled out from the deck are:


–          8-18yr olds spend 7.5hrs a day consuming media, however due to multitasking they cram 10.45hrs of media exposure into those 7.5hrs.

–          11-14yr olds have the highest media exposure at a staggering 11.53hrs a day (8-10yr olds media exposure is 7.51hrs a day)

–          African American and Hispanic youth have the highest media exposure with 13hrs a day compared to Anglo American youth with 8.36hrs a day.

–          56% multitask while doing homework on at least 4 devices


–          TV is still king, 4.29hrs a day spent on TV content (59% live TV, 12% DVD, 12% mobile, 9% online)

–          Per day 10-14yr olds spend 5hrs on TV, 2hrs 20mins on a computer online, 1hr 46mins listening to music and 1hr 25mins gaming.

–          70% of 8-18yr olds have a TV in their bedrooms

–          67% of households have the TV on during mealtime

–          8-18yr  olds spend 33mins a day talking on their mobiles, 17mins playing games, 17mins listening to music and 15mins engaging with content (49mins consuming media on their mobiles)

–          33% of teens have web access in their bedroom lairs

–          25% of their time online is spent social networking, 19% playing games and 16% on video sites

–          8-18yr olds spend 2.5hrs a day on music, 29% of that time on ipod, 23% on a computer and 12% on a cell

–          Consumption of print media has dropped from 43mins in 2004, to 38mins in ‘09

–          Only 33% of families have media consumption rules