by Andrew Nusca
Adults are exposed to screens — as in those of televisions, mobile phones, movies, GPS devices and so forth — for about 8.5 hours on any given day, according to a study released by the Council for Research Excellence.
Despite all this, TV remains the dominant medium for media consumption and advertising, the study found, and the average American is exposed to 61 minutes of TV ads and promotions a day.
Futher, computer usage has supplanted radio as the second most common media activity.
(Printed media rank fourth, in case you were wondering.)
In the study, paid for by Nielsen and conducted by researchers at Ball State University’s Center for Media Design, the behavior of 350 adults was recorded in 10-second increments for 952 days.
Interestingly, researchers found that the number of minutes with media is almost identical for every age group, with one exception: 45 to 54-year-olds, who spend on average an extra hour in front of screens each day, the study found.
So no matter how much the world believes its twentysomething inhabitants are “glued to the screen,” their fortysomething cohorts beat them by an hour.
Furthermore, people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and early 50s essentially multitask for the same amount of time, and it’s only after age 55 that people slow down multitasking, perhaps indicating a generational gap, the study found.
More fun facts:
The average American adult was exposed to five hours and nine minutes of live TV each day, almost 15 minutes of TV via a DVR device and 2.4 minutes of video on the computer.
TV accounts for 99 percent of all video consumed in 2008, even among the 18-to-24-year-olds.
18-24-year-olds watch the smallest amount of live TV of any age group (three and a half hours a day), spend the most time text messaging (29 minutes a day) and watch the most online video (5.5 minutes a day).
Those aged 25 to 34 spend the most time of any group watching DVD or VCR videos.
People ages 35 to 44 spend more time on the Web than other groups, 74 minutes a day on average.
People 45 to 54 years old spends the most time on e-mail.
Users over the age of 65 watch the most live TV.
Television and video games attract the most undivided attention, while other actions (like listening to music) often occur while people are doing other things.
More than 30 percent of households now own digital video recorders
The average American watches almost 15 minutes of TV using a DVR each day.
People underestimate the amount of time they spend with TV by about 25 percent on average, and overestimate their use of other media.
Which leaves only one question: how many hours do you need to qualify as a couch potato?