Resources and discussion for parents, teachers and young people navigating the evolving landscape of the digital world.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Common Sense Census

Common Sense Census Infographic
also posted at 

We love data! Analyzing trends and figuring out what’s going on in the digital lives of our kids involves asking a lot of questions, reading plenty of books and articles, and looking at vast collections of numbers. What’s especially tricky to dissect, however, is what all the numbers mean when the pace of technological change is so rapid. For example, If you’ve come to our workshops any time in the last 5 years, you know we’ve been waiting for current data to compare to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2010 study that shows kids spend, on average, 7 hours and 38 minutes with entertainment media daily. Well guess what didn’t exist in when the Kaiser study was published? Instagram (launched October 2010) and Snapchat (released September 2011) are now two of the most popular social media apps among teens. Minecraft was just a baby in 2010, but has exploded in popularity, along with other games, since then. How do these new contenders vie for kids’ attention and how might they impact media consumption hours?

This past November, Common Sense Media released the Common Sense Census, a comprehensive report on media use by teens and tweens. According to this new report, media time is now 9 hours a day for teens (6 hours for tweens). And these numbers do NOT include homework time! So how does a family set reasonable limits and support kids in developing responsible and healthy habits when it comes to their use of media and technology? CSM recommends four tips in The New Guide to Managing Media for Tweens and Teens:
  1. set limits on screens of all sizes
  2. promote creative, responsible consumption, not passive use
  3. understand the myth of multitasking
  4. set a good example!
We will be covering all this and more at our annual workshop on January 28th. And if your child is not yet a tween or teen? Let’s discuss young kids’ media and tech use and proactively set the stage for what is to come. We have much to share, and plenty of resources to take with you as your family works together to build, test, revise, and strengthen the guidelines, values, and expectations you want to promote. We look forward to seeing you!