Kids these days are ever more plugged in and ever more multitasking, according to a new report by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. As distilled in this Washington Post article, America’s children now pack 8 1/2 hours of media exposure into 6 1/2 hours of viewing time. Their media time is so overwhelming that Kaiser calls them “Generation M,” standing for Media in the Lives of Children.
More disheartening statistics: multi-tasking is up 10 percentage points in children 8-18, now at 26 percent. In 63 percent of homes a television is usually on during meals, and in 51 percent the television is on most of the time, regardless of whether anyone is watching it.
If there’s any hidden higlight, it’s that children who use more media are lowest on this “contentedness” scale devised by the study. Maybe that will inspire parents to keep their children more grounded.