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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When you unplug you notice things around you a lot more. You pay more attention to the details of your everyday life. You get homework done more quickly. You spend more time with people face to face. You're more likely to go outside and relax. You are less stressed from thinking about everything you have to keep up with online.” -Female, 20, NY

We know that Millennials aren’t turning to traditional sources for news: According to Ypulse’s research, most use social media as their top source, and news websites rank above television. Now Millennial media hub BuzzFeed is creating a new app dedicated to delivering serious news stories to its readers, and hiring a team of journalists to work “round the clock.” The app will be a continuation of the site’s efforts to be a credible journalistic source. (AdAge)

The amount that young consumers are spending on vices like alcohol and junk food depends on where they live. 18-35-year olds in the south spend the most on fast food, with more than 40% saying they go to a drive-through at least twice a week, and the least on coffee compared to the rest of the country. Meanwhile, Millennials in Massachusetts are the most likely to be buying booze, followed up by Colorado and New York. (USA

Millennials are changing the way money is managed, and a slew of startups are rushing to cater to their needs and make budgeting, saving, and investing a turnkey, digital part of their lives. The generation controls roughly $2 trillion in liquid assets and will control $7 trillion by the end of the decade. Though college debt will be a “drag” on their net worth, they’re a group of young savers and over the coming years a “torrent of well-educated Millennials” will be “flooding the ‘mass affluent’ market." (Forbes)

Right now, 67% of Millennials do not feel that any show on TV or online accurately represents them. Can that change? Resident Advisors, a new show produced by Elizabeth Banks, will make an attempt by showing a slice of college life. It’s described as a “workplace comedy set is a college dorm,” will feature an ensemble cast, and could have a digital distributor. (Stream Daily)

Apparently there is a hot new trend online. Some teens are lighting themselves on fire (?!) and posting videos of the stunts to Vine and YouTube with the hashtag #FireChallenge. Some attempting the trend have suffered serious burns, and one video called “Fire Challenge Gone Wrong” was followed up by a “cautionary Vine” in which the teen shows the bandages he is now sporting as a result of his injuries. (Daily Dot)

Exactly how much are Millennials spending every day…and what are they buying? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-old Millennials nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased, with spending broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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