And it’s not just that these kids are devoting 7 1/2 hours of their daily lives to media immersion — their multitasking means that they somehow consume nearly 11 hours of media content in that 7 1/2 hours of time. Over the last ten years, young people have increased their consumption and use of every type of media with one exception — reading. As the researchers make clear, the vast increase in the amount of time teenagers are able to access the media is due almost entirely to the fact that their mobile phones allow an online life that can be carried in the pocket (and in far too many cases, taken to bed). “The mobile and online media revolutions have arrived in the lives — and the pockets — of American youth,” notes the report. “Try waking a teenager in the morning, and the odds are good you’ll find a cell phone tucked under their pillow — the last thing they touch before falling asleep and the first thing they reach for upon waking.”
Another important section of the report indicates that the young people who spend the greatest amount of time with media report lower grades and lower levels of personal happiness and contentment.