The mass media play an important role in our lives. Our society is saturated with media forms – television, newspapers, magazines, radio, the internet. The rise in portable media devices like latops, tablets and smart phones means that we’re never too far away from a constant flow of information and entertainment.
It’s interesting to consider how much of your life you spend consuming media texts
A 2010 study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average American teenager consumes about 7.5 hours of media everyday. When multitasking – using more than one form of media is taken into account – the average increases to over 10 hours. The study found that American teenagers are consuming:
• 4 hours 29 minutes of television
• 2 hours 31 minutes of music
• 1 hour 30 minutes of computer
• 1 hour 13 minutes of video games
• 38 minutes of newspapers and magazines
• 25 minutes of films
As noted in a 2005 study by Bell State University: “Television is still the 800-pound gorilla because of how much the average person is exposed to it,” noted Bell State University telecommunications professor Robert Papper. “However, that is quickly evolving. When we combine time spent on the Web, using e-mail, instant messaging and software such as word processing, the computer eclipses all other media with the single exception of television. The introduction of the computer into the workplace also has created a whole class of multitaskers. We thought young people would be better at multitasking, but computers have forced older workers to do more than one thing at a time to survive in the workplace.”
Click here to calculate the amount of time you’ll spend using the mass media over your lifetime. This calculator requires Flash.