*Sigh.* Sometimes I hear news that just makes me want to cry.
Today is one of those days. And the FDA, for once, has nothing to do with it.
We are a nation of vidiots.
Yep, in the fourth quarter of last year, personal TV use was at 151 hours per month, up from 145 hours for each of the last three months in the previous year. That would be about 4 ½ hours per day per person.
American households watch, on average, 8 hours, 18 minutes of TV per day. What the?! Oh my, why are Junior’s grades so awful? Why is he “heavy set”?
You might remember that I’m not big on the boob tube. As a household, we easily watch less than that daily dose per week. Instead, we do things like gasp! read, talk, play games, and spend time outside. I know! I’m depriving my young!
Analysts are speculating on the reasons for the uptick in TV watching. One is that the average household has more TVs than people. (Again: What the?!) Also of note is what Nielsen calls “timeshifted TV”, or those fancy schmancy TiVos and DVRs that let you watch your favorite shows on your own time. And don’t forget cells phones and the Internet. Yep, those devices that were supposed to keep us connected? They have…to our televisions!
Most often blamed, of course, is the economy:
As Americans looked for low-cost ways to entertain themselves.
(Psst…BOOKS! It’s called a library, folks, and it’s free!)
- 31 percent of Internet activity occurs when consumers are also watching television. (Must. Have. More. Media.)
- At 7 hours, 11 minutes per month, “timeshifted TV” is watched at double the pace as video online. But young viewers (18-24) watch video on the Internet and on a DVR at the same rate: about 5 hours per month.
- Men continue to watch video on mobile phones more than women, and women continue to watch video on the Internet and television more than men.
- During the fourth quarter, growth of online video was driven by events such as election coverage and the SNL/Sarah Palin clips.
- Weekdays outpaced weekends for online video viewing in October with 65% of online video viewers streaming content between 9am–5pm Monday through Friday (i.e. I don’t feel like working today!), versus 51% of online video viewers logging on between 6am–8pm on weekends.
To see the complete Nielsen report, click here (pdf).
Image: goldsardine on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.