Is it any wonder today’s teens, and adults as well, have a pretty short attention span?  According to Nielsen’s newest 2012 Cross Platform Report, the average American spends 34 hours a week in front of the TV.  Though that’s a profound amount of time with eyes glued to the flat screen, that’s not exactly the attention-grabber…it’s the way they’re watching TV.

There’s not too many North American households that don’t have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and according to the survey mentioned above, 40% of folks surveyed are whipping those bad-boys out during the majority of the time that they’re spending watching TV.  In fact, TV & media marketers are banking on you to do this.  That’s why you see so many shows flashing social media advertisements during their programming: “Don’t forget to visit Hawaii Five-0 online at…” and “use hashtag ‘Idolwatching’ while you….”

Our friends @ Nielsen provided a jack-dandy infograph showing how people of different ages browse social media on their tech devices with one eye, while they keep the other eye on the TV.  This just serves to further my concept of ‘Close Proximity Disconnection‘…

So…should we incorporate more of this multi-tasking into the normal learning experiences of youth/teens?

Should we (parents/teachers/youth workers) also provide some breaks from technology where people can just unplug?

What would/could that balance look like?


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