Responding To Kaiser's Generation M2 Study

Lots of chatter today around the study, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the finding that young people between the ages of eight and 18 devote just under eight hours a day to media consumption (which actually adds up to more like 11 hours of media content, if you take into account all the “media multitasking”). With hefty numbers like these and the rapid increase from the last time this study was conducted in 2004, it’s easy to spin negative a la USA Today and come up with provocative headlines like “Kids less happy as they’re more plugged into TV, music, Web?”

To the piece’s credit, it does use the question as a launching point for a slightly more nuanced discussion around (surprise) moderation and striking a balance between screens and real life, but with its overall cautionary tone, the repeated catch-all description of “media consumption” and “technology’  might as well be replaced with “junk food.” Overall it just struck me as a skewed way a looking at a much more multifaceted relationship between t(w)eens and media.

What’s missing is the flipside of this type of research. Both with the so-called “happiness/media” connection and its brush off of recent studies like Mediasnacker’s The Web Makes Me Feel and MTV Sticky’s Teen Age Clicks: Understanding Global Youth Culture, which cited music, TV and social networks as generating happiness and alleviating stress, and also with the far-reaching positive potential of new media.

MacArthur has also been funding lots of research about how all of this digital media is impacting learning whether formal or informal. Watching a show and then going to a fan forum and posting about it  or interacting with other viewers during the show online is much different than…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: “The best part about driving is the control of when, how, and where you go. The worst part is that there is a lot of responsibility in your hands, especially if you are with your family.” -Female, 32, TX

We’ve told you before that Millennials are turning to new tools that let them harness their own data for their own personal benefit and enjoyment. The new app Pplkpr (pronounced “people keeper”) does just that, using a combination of tracked body metrics and self-reporting to determine which friends make users happy, and which have a negative impact on them. Using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, the app measures physical response while one is hanging out with friends, learning over time which friends create anxiety, boredom, excitement, and concluding whether or not a friend is toxic. The app’s creators say Pplkpr was created partly as a criticism for the decisions we allow data to make for us, but there is clearly some interest around the idea. (Huffington PostMashable)

Gaming is becoming more and more mobile as major consoles “unplug” from TV. Microsoft has announced that Xbox One players can enjoy gameplay on any Widows 10 device, including tablets and PCs. The announcement “completes the trifecta” of consoles that have taken steps to include off-TV play. Yes, TV screens are biggest, but TV's communal nature is not necessarily appealing to gamers when many games are solitary pursuits. “We’re gravitating towards the personal” and TVs immobility can make it less convenient—in both gaming and entertainment streaming. (Wired

Meet Elena, Disney’s first ever Latina princess. Elena will have her own show on Disney Junior set to air in 2016, and is inspired by "diverse Latin cultures and folklore." Disney announced that a Latina heroine was in the works after some confusion and criticism arose over the ethnicity of the (now extremely popular) character Sofia the First. Though Elena’s premiere is some time off, it is clear that many communities are happy to see Disney embracing diversity in their characters and shows. (BuzzFeed)

YouTube celebrities are getting more than deals for their own web series, TV shows, and movies: the trend of YouTube authors is growing. Although some have questioned the vloggers’ capabilities as writers, recent books published by YouTube stars have seen unexpected successes. Grace’s Heibig’s Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Upeven became a New York Times bestseller. It was just announced that four top YouTubers will even host their own session at BookCon, the largest literary event for authors, publishers, and readers. Justine Ezarik, Shane Dawson, Connor Franta and Joey Graceffa will speak about their new literary efforts with Keywords Press, an Atria Books imprint specially created for online video stars and their fans. (StreamDaily)

Reebok is leaving out celebrity athletes and making everyday young fitness enthusiasts the stars of their new marketing campaign, “Become More Human,” which focuses on the “new brand of athlete.” The first spot features footage of normal people pushing themselves physically, and includes shots of extreme races that Millennials have embraced. The campaign goes beyond commercials with a #BreakYourSelfie Instagram initiative and the “Be More Human Experience,” an interactive website that helps users to compare their physical traits against other members. (The Drum)

Infographics make even complex data easy to understand and quick to digest. Our Gold and Silver subscribers are given access to our regularly published informative Infographic Snapshots: data visualizations that take our proprietary bi-weekly survey stats and synthesize them to tell a story about this generation’s behaviors and views. From political stances to social media use to spending, we illustrate how many, how much, and how often, making sure you know exactly where your Millennial target audience stands.
(Ypulse)

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