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Teens not aliens, actually like the rest of us when using media

TeenReadingMediaweek reports that The Nielsen Company today presented a new research survey, “How Teens Use Media,” (registration required) that contradicts the widely held idea that they use media in strikingly different ways than adults. In fact, it turns out that teens watch less video on the Internet (3 hours/mo.) than young adults (5.47 hours/mo.) or their parents (3.5 hours/mo. for adults 35-44).

After television, which dominates teen media use at three hours and 20 minutes a day, PC use (52 minutes/day) and Internet (23 minutes/day—less than half the average Net user across all age groups). In sharp contrast to the myth of the multi-tasking, many-screens teen communicating and consuming simultaneously, Nielsen found that “while teens do multi-task in their media experience, their concurrent behavior may actually be lower than it is among adults. The myth that concurrent exposure is the norm, for teens in particular, sets and important framework as we explore the breadth of teen media experience.”

Encouraging for reading, but still bad news for newspapers: One in four teens reads a newspaper, lower than the national average by four percent.

Really bad news for reading: There is no mention of books or e-books in the report. None. Either Nielsen doesn’t consider books a media sector or there is a glaring gap in this very comprehensive review of teen media use.

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