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: “Video game soundtracks have been present throughout my life.” –Male, 32, IN 

Snapchat says that 60% of American youth are users of their platform, and they have some major plans for the future. (Note: Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker actually found that 40% of 13-32-year-olds and 52% of 13-17-year-olds use the app.) Twenty-four-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel believes that teens and Millennials will make Snapchat the future of media, and mobile content will replace traditional TV. (The VergeBloomberg)

A recently discovered Google patent hints that the tech giant could one day create toys that can react to children’s voices, and record what they say. The digital/cuddly playthings could also physically respond to information with head tilts and different expressions. Some are calling the concept “creepy,” but our top toy trends of 2015 included several products that monitor and have conversations with children, including the new Hello Barbie. (Campaign)

The debate around cell phones in classrooms continues, and new research is weighing on the side of teachers and parents who want them banned. A working paper suggests that removing cell phones from schools results in an increase in academic performance, especially amongst the lowest-performing students. New York City Mayor DeBlasio recently lifted the cellphone ban in schools, in part because children were paying local adults to store their phones each day. (NYMag)

We’ve told brands about the importance of marketing on visual platforms, and those who do should take note: filtered photos are significantly more liked than #nofilter shots. A recent study found that filtered photos are 45% more likely to be commented on, and that people prefer high contrast, warm temperature filters. Filter judgment from more serious photographers is also fading as mobile has become the most ubiquitous picture-taking method. (Wired)

The Millennial Trains project is making its third voyage, carrying innovative members of the generation on a rail tour across the U.S. The participants are young entrepreneurs who share their ideas on how to change the world along the ride, which includes meetups, interviews, and other experiences to help them develop their concepts. This group includes a doctoral student studying nutritional programs for obese children, and a postdoc working on a project to keep the elderly more safe. (Fast Company)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our monthly survey data, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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