This Suprising Study Shows How Our Kids Really Use Media

by ParentCo. November 03, 2015

Common Sense Media just published something incredible: the clearest view yet of how kids aged 8 to 18 in the US use the full range of media and technology.

Based on a large national sample of more than 2,600 young people, it appears to be the only large-scale, probability-based survey of its kind. See the Full Report. This data is a powerful, up-to-date tool for parents, caregivers, health professionals, and educators. The national conversation about kids and technology has over-relied on old data, and data that doesn't account for different types of screentime. As Common Sense Media says, it's "increasingly challenging to measure the time youth spend and the things they do with media and technology." Media devices are portable, ubiquitous, and integrated as Essential tools in young people’s lives, and what counts as 'media use' or even 'screen time' is harder to define. About the Study:
  • Includes both “tweens” (broadly defined as 8- to 12-year olds) and teens (13- to 18-year-olds)
  • It includes screen-based media activities (such as watching TV shows, playing video games, and using social media) as well as non-screen media activities (such as reading books or listening to music)
  • It documents both the activities engaged in (e.g., using social media) and the devices used (e.g., computers, smartphones, and tablets)
  • It includes detailed measures of the amount of time young people spend on these activities and on these devices.
CS_MediaCensusInfo_complete Download the Infographic as a JPG or a PDF. See the Full Report.


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