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The Lives of 12-24 Years Olds

A very cool must read study released this week from the LA Times and Bloomberg:
Computers, Cell Phones And Multitasking
A Look Inside The Entertainment Life Of 12-24 Year Olds

It’s a readable 25 page PDF. Net Family News has already highlighted some parts here.
Here’s an updated link to more of the series (Thanks Alane).
These young respondents have made multitasking an art form. About three in five teens and young adults said they prefer to multitask rather than focusing on doing one thing at a time. Multitasking relieves boredom, according to more than half of those who said they prefer to have several things going at once. More than seven in 10 teens and young adults said they are at least sometimes bored with their entertainment choices. Those living outside a major metropolitan area more so than urban dwellers, younger teens more so than older. Movies and to a lesser extent, television pulled more focus than other types of entertainment – most reported focusing on movies, rather than doing other things at the same time. Homework, however, is another matter. More than half of the teenagers in the survey reported doing at least one other thing while doing homework, and about a third said they do two or more things at the same time. Most teenagers and young adults reported listening to music many hours every day, almost all while doing other things at the same time. Most young people are not offended by being confronted by violence, gross out humor, bad language, or cigarettes and alcohol in their entertainment. Most were offended by disrespecting women and girls, even those who listen to rap music, some of which is notorious for exactly that.
Computers and cell phones play a big role in teens and young adult’s lives –almost all respondents reported having the use of or access to a computer, and most had a cell phone. Half of the young people in this survey reported spending less than two hours on their computer on an average day and half of those spent less than an hour a day. The survey found no gender difference in computer game playing among 12-14 year olds, but older teen girls stop playing games as much and start spending more time on homework, instant messaging, updating their web profiles and surfing the net. Teen girls and those surfing and playing games without parental supervision spent the most time. However, most teens, and especially the youngest teens, reported having parental limits on their computer use. Parents monitor what the teens download, what they do while they are online, and whether their homework has been done before going online.
MySpace and other social networking sites are popular, especially among older teens and those living in metro areas. Half of young adults visit those types of sites, but use drops away by those over 21. More than seven in 10 women between the ages of 18 and 20 said they visit such sites and about one in six reported spending two hours or more a day.
Unauthorized downloading and piracy is a problem for both the music and movie industries, of course. The survey found that most don’t admit to doing it themselves, but more were willing to say their friends do. Most believe that downloading music from filesharing services for free is at least a minor crime, and very few believe that copying a CD from a friend who bought it is against the law.”
There’s just a wealth of tables here to mine for ideas and insights. I’ll keep my eyes open for the next studies in the series here (Sometimes requires free registration).

Posted on: August 18, 2006, 8:01 am Category: Uncategorized

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