Connected Devices and Children’s Media Consumption

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2012 5:24pm

Blogged by Jon Hancock.

Research Insights at the CMC

Connected Devices and Children’s Media Consumption

Resources: Download Phil’s presentation here

Phil Williams, Researcher & Writer from ACB (a behavioural research company based in Brighton) presented findings from recent research about children’s behaviour to new technology in the home. Cameras were placed in the family home and the output from each device, together with the human behaviour, was monitored in great detail. Whilst the sample was 8 families (children aged 2-14) with just a couple of children in each category/age group, this is apparently a large and thorough sample.

In the case studies shown there were no examples of children aged between 2-7, but the simple conclusions and take-out was that all ages show a trend of becoming more convergent as they grow older – no surprises there then.

Younger viewers are exposed to most uninterrupted content – guided of course by their parents – although when those aged approx 7 grow into the regular use of devices themselves, they’re inclined to find and stick with known and trusted content. Older viewers are exposed to far less actual TV content – preferring social networking on gaming devices and on different devices and platforms.

There’s something somewhat disturbing about watching clips from a family’s living room as they use devices and consume content. I can’t help but wonder what my own children’s behaviour to our – still very linear and limited – devices would look like. It also leaves me wondering just how far removed from my current experience and knowledge, the consumption of media will have changed by the time my own children are parents. I find myself falling well short of accepting that such intense use of devices is actually a good thing … maybe it’s just what was presented to us … but I have some concern as to what effect the multi-platform/device/content-consumption has on the development of character and soul compared to those young people who don’t have the devices available to them.

I’ll let you know in 25 years.


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