Kid in front of Television

These days, kids are spending more time in front of screens and behind controllers than ever before. According to a new study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, media usage among 8-18 year olds has risen to an approximate average of almost 11 hours a day. This figure increased dramatically from 2004, when the average was only six and a half hours per day.

While television content commands most of the average child’s time, computers and video games are gaining new importance among the priorities of today’s kids. The disparities between girls and boys are of particular note — averaging up to 40 minutes more time spent with the devices than girls, boys show proclivities for console and PC gaming.

The Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report named Generation M2 which goes into further detail. The study explains that only 30% of kids indicated that their household enforced rules concerning what games their parents allowed them to play. This bit of data becomes more intriguing when compounded with the fact that 71% of the children had televisions in their rooms, and 50% had their own gaming console.

You may be thinking, “Oh, that’s not so bad. I mean, I played games and watched television often as a teen.” But the study shows a strong correlation between poor academic performance and heavy media usage — 47% of the heaviest media consumers admitted to having “fair or poor”
grades in contrast to only 23% of lighter users.

Should these statistics concern us? Should we regulate and observe the viewing and gaming habits of today’s youth more rigorously? Leave your comments and feedback [via GamePolitics]!