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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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I follow movie critics/sites on Twitter - this is the best way to find out latest news and upcoming films.”—Male, 23, AL

McDonald’s new ad is brand-free and interactive. In the TV spot starring Mindy Kaling, she never says the brand’s name and no logo appears—though she is wearing a yellow dress in front of a red background. Instead, Kaling asks viewers to go to Google and search "that place where Coke tastes so good" to find out for themselves. Requesting the viewer to take action “play[s] on how teens and twentysomethings use their phones while watching TV, while also acknowledging "how they're discovering information" they trust. The ad has been viewed almost 4 million times since being posted earlier this week. (Inc.MediaPost

Nintendo might have plans to dominate the holidays (again). Last week, the brand announced the discontinuation of the wildly popular NES Classic Edition after very limited availability—news that was not received well by gamers worldwide. But now rumor has it that the brand is working on a SNES Classic Edition that could come in time for Christmas 2017, according to Eurogamer's sources. If their response is any indication, Millennial nostalgia will guarantee a success for the relaunch of the classic console. (Let’s just hope Nintendo makes enough this time.) (WWG)  

“Satisfying videos” are trending, and brands are taking notice. Clips that feature “repetitive tasks, perfect patterns in motion or machinery processes being completed in slow motion, with relaxing music” are providing Millennials and Gen Z an escape from stress—as we explored in our In Their Heads trend. These videos—which include things like paint mixing, slime squeezing, and cake icing—are only getting more popular online: over 265,000 posts on Instagram currently live under the hashtag #satisfyingvideos. Prism TV is one brand capitalizing on the trend, with a promotional video series that shows painters mixing colors together in slow motion. (DIGIDAY

Teens are ushering in a new era of “webrooming.” According to a new Dealspotr survey, 47% of 20-year-olds and younger are using their phones as their primary source for online apparel shopping, compared to 39% of Millennials and 37% of Gen X and Boomers. However, since they are less likely to have digital payment options, they were also the most likely age group to shop in-store, signifying they are using mobile to “reverse showroom” or “webroom.” The survey also found that H&M leads as the most popular retailer for the group, followed by Forever 21. (Yahoo FinanceDealspotr

Beauty brands regularly market to Millennials by speaking to their too-busy, “chicly rushed lifestyles,” but is it the right approach? Newcomers Milk Makeup and Allies of Skin are just a few examples of brands growing their beauty empires by offering simple products that are easy to apply, have multiple uses, and can shorten routines for the busy consumer. But when it comes to beauty, quality may come before convenience, especially for young consumers who enjoy spending time on makeup routines: a Ypulse survey found that 55% of 13-33-year-olds like experimenting with different looks. (Racked

Quote of the Day: “I am passionate about beauty, and I look to Ulta, Sephora, and Bluemercury to learn what news products are out on the market and how to use them.”

—Female, 24, FL

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