Friday, October 06, 2006

The Changing Nature of Couch Time

by Zachary Thatcher
published September 22, 2006

We’ve all heard people complain about youth habits pointing to the inevitable decay of society: American children are walled off from the outdoors as they obsessively play video games, watch DVDs and devour mass-produced calorie-laden junk food, making us into a nation of bulging zombies who can’t read. Some of this criticism is fair, but it’s also missing the point of how media trends alter our engagement with the world.

A few days ago, Marita Scarfi sent around a study describing college students' latest media habits. According to Burst Media, many college students spend more time online than they do watching TV. To me, this indicates an important finding: the vast wasteland of television has been quickly supplanted by the hyper-social interactivity of the Internet for younger folk. All that time indoors may be paying off.



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