Americans Spend a Fourth of Their Day Looking at Screens

Americans Spend a Fourth of Their Day Looking at Screens

By Anna Booher, Contributing Writer

What were you doing right before reading this? Were you watching a movie with your family? Perhaps, you were scrolling through social media? Odds are, you were most likely doing something related to technology and the media.

Media is becoming more and more consumable in today’s world.  Viewers can access media at most any time — via smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, TV, you name it. The digital platform reaches a growing audience and offers the world more convenience and opportunity every day. However, this “convenience” could be a reason that American’s are spending over six hours a day on their phones…

According to Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Mary Meeker, the average American spends 6.3 hours per day engaging with media on average. Meeker’s findings suggest mobile content consumption takes up an average of 3.6 hours a day! Some of this media usage includes essentials like health care, the job market and other resources for normal living. According to Meeker’s analysis, e-commerce on mobile devices is growing, so there’s most likely a correlation. 12.4% of sales growth has been charted via the internet versus the 2% growth in regular in-person sales year-over-year. Since its inception, the internet has grown globally, now reaching more than half of the world’s population. 

Media hasn’t only increased in accessibility and use, but it has redirected and broadened, with people exploring new mediums of media. According to The New York Times, podcast listens have increased 100% in the last four years. Interestingly enough, a study by A Medium Incorporation in 2015, Christian podcasts are the most numerous on iTunes with 23,200 podcasts active.

Interactive video games, according to Meeker’s study, are being played and used as social media platforms with an increase of 6% in the last year, engaging 2.4 billion players around the world. Technology and media have given the viewer a wider and easier-to-shift lens with which to interact with the world. Since the internet is becoming more of a necessary frontier for viewers to traverse, it is also becoming harder to protect them. In fact, accessible media is, at times, replacing the structures in place that protect the viewer—the human, most concernedly—adolescents.

When it comes to parenting in the digital age, Pew Research Center notes, “only 60% of parents with children from the ages of 13-17 monitor their social media.” MOVIEGUIDE®’s research shows that today “by the time a child is 17, he or she will have spent up to 66,504 hours using various media.” That’s six times longer than they’re in school, 33 times longer than they’ll be at home with their parents and 83 times longer than they’ll be at church.

MOVIEGUIDE® hopes that families would establish a healthy relationship with media. The high numbers of media views, albeit fascinating, should also encourage people to increase time spent having face-to-face interaction with family and friends. If you want to do just that, please go to www.movieguide.org and please read THE MEDIA WISE FAMILY and THE CULTURE-WISE FAMILY.