Did you know that a 2010 study found that the average American child ages 8-18 spends 7 hours and 38 minutes of media per day, seven days of week. And if you count multitasking–using multiple media at once, such as watching TV and playing on the tablet at the same time–that number goes up to 10 hours and 45 minutes each day (see the study here)! The age group that seems to spend the most time with media are 11-14 year-olds. They spend, on average, about 8 hours and 40 minutes with media each day. Let’s put these numbers into perspective. This means that American children spend about as much time with media as they do in school and as they do sleeping!
Now, pick your jaw up on the floor for a minute. The fact that you’re reading this post suggests that your family is on the low end of amount of time spent with the media, and I commend you for that. Know, however, that media exposure has an effect. How could it not? In my next post I’ll talk about the effect of exposure to violent media. Until then, start paying just a little more attention to the amount of time your children spend with media. I’d love to hear what you learn about the media habits in your own home.