US Teen Media Use and Lack of Interest in Politics

Typical teens text 30 times a day. In 2010 young people ages 8 to 18 averaged more time than seven hours a day using some kind of “entertainment media,” more time than they spent in school.[i] US teenagers spend 31 hours a week watching TV, 17 hours a week listening to music, 3 hours a week watching movies, 4 minutes a week reading magazines, and 10 hours a week online, a total of almost 11 hours a day, no doubt often multi-tasking Millennials are likely to get their news from the Internet or TV rather than reading and going to the library.[ii] Most Millennials own a Smartphone (83%) but a Pew survey from only 5% of people under 30 said they follows political news very closely. A new news media is available as listed by Eleanor Goldfield.[iii]


Eleanor Goldfield, “20 News Sites Kicking Our Generation Into Action,” Popular Resistance, August 25, 2014.

[i] Lindsey Tanner, “Docs Urge Limits on Kids’ Texts, Tweets,” ABC News, October 28, 2013.

[ii] Morley Winograd and Michael Hais, Millennial Makeover: My Space, YouTube and the Future of American Politics, p. 195.

Ben Rigby. Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to using Web 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize and Engage Youth. Jossey-Bass, 2008.



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