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: “Google Maps is my GPS and I would be lost without it.” –Female, 22, DE

Young consumers have come of age in the era of social media, are not afraid to say what they think of brands online, and expect a response. Brands should be listening to the feedback, and Topshop proved that they are this week when they announced they would stop displaying mannequins being criticized for looking too skinny. The whole story started with a Facebook post from one shopper, which went viral and pressured the retailer to take action. (Digiday)

Vine has gotten brands’ attention primarily for being a hit with teen users, but in the few years the app has been around, it has evolved from the “Instagram of video“ into a piece of the entertainment industry. The app has made small changes that optimize it for the creators who are broadcasting out to huge audiences, and the users who prefer to watch, not post. (But did the platform make the top ten list of Millennial and teens’ favorite apps?) (Fast Company)

It seems that every week another brand comes out with a campaign to capitalize on the selfie trend, but KFC’s new selfie bucket may be the most entertaining yet. The brand has launched a campaign in Canada featuring the “Memories Bucket,” which takes selfies for diners, then prints them out—and yes, it also holds chicken. Sadly, the bucket was only created for the commercial, but KFC says they are “currently looking to work with some franchise owners to facilitate surprise and delight deliveries of the Memories Buckets to some of our more passionate fans." (Adweek)

Boomer and Xer bosses probably all want to know what motivates Millennial workers—but they might be surprised by some of the answers. A recent study found that working on challenging projects actually ranks higher than top salary for Millennials: 37% said that challenging work is their prime motivation, compared to 18% who said money, and 17% who said “coworkers that I enjoy.” (Forbes)

3-D printing has been called the future of many industries, but could it also be the future of fashion? A 3-D clothing line created by a 27-year-old student is making headlines, and showing that 3D printed style is possible. The collection took over 2,000 hours to print, but the creator, Danit Peleg, believes that the technology could “help democratize fashion and give designers more independence in the creation process.” (Mashable)

Quote of the Day: “I love the Amazon app because I can look up products that I want to buy and store them very easily. I also can scan barcodes while I'm in the store to check for the best price and if I want it, I can click one button to purchase it online instead of paying more for it in a store.” – Female, 29, FL

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