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: “I would want anyone that is not named Clinton or Trump to be the next president.”—Male, 23, NY

Millennials are so not feeling this election. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, only 54% of voters under the age of 35 say they are highly interested in the current campaign, a 6% decrease from 2012, and 18% below the general voter population. Millennials’ level of enthusiasm is a stark contrast from the past two presidential campaigns, which is troubling for current candidates since President Obama’s election relied heavily on the college student vote in battleground states. The poll—which was conducted from Oct. 10-13—also revealed that Clinton was leading Trump among 18-29-year-old voters by only 13%. (The Wall Street Journal

Chipotle has launched a weekly Snapchat show to get Millennials on their side once again. School of Guac is targeted to 13-24-year-olds, and is described as “after-school special meets variety show meets satirical news program.” Young performer Lorena Russi hosts the minute-long episodes, which can vary from DIY with burrito foil to an explanation on why tortilla chips are triangular. Unlike other brands’ TV programming created for Snapchat, Chipotle’s resembles the polished content usually found on traditional TV, and even incorporates fake commercials.  (Digiday

Millennials will be a crucial player in the real estate revolution of next year. In what is described as a “‘Oh, shift’ moment” for the housing market, 52% of potential home buyers next year will be first-timers, and 61% of them will be under the age of 35—according to an annual survey from®. Millennials will be mostly seeking a home is for growing families, and almost four in ten of 25-34-year-olds say single-family homes will be the type they’ll be looking to buy, followed by townhomes. Ample space, yards, and safe neighborhoods are also in demand, with 28% stating they will like to live near the suburbs, followed by 22% who prefer outlying suburbs. (

Netflix is almost “12 times more popular among teens” compared to other streaming services. Piper Jaffray’s recent semiannual survey on U.S. teenagers revealed that 37% of teens are watching Netflix daily— a significant number when only 3% can say the same for Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. YouTube came in second for teen daily video consumption at 26%, an upward trend for the platform and the first time it has come ahead of cable TV which followed at 25%. (Tech Times

Facebook wants to connect online friends in the offline world. The social platform has released a new batch of tools to let users buy tickets to events, schedule appointment with businesses, and get local dining recommendations from friends by selecting an area from their News Feed maps. The update was created to solve the “unbelievably challenging process in 2016 to figure out what there is to go do, and then…decide which of those things you want to go do and then actually engage in the doing of said things." They’ve also expanded activity streams to let users track what events their friends go to and their suggestions. (Mashable

Quote of the Day: “I like Last Week Tonight With John Oliver because he dives very deep into topics that are not always appealing, pleasant, or interesting. He turns these topics into something hilarious, entertaining, and educational at the same time.”—Male, 32, KY

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