It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where America’s eyes are?
If you are a baby boomer, chances are you are watching TV. If you are the parent of a teenaged millennial, your 13-17 year-old, too, is most likely watching TV, but they are probably also on Facebook.
An extensive Ad Age surveyoffers an eye-opening snapshot of media consumption across the generations. It is further evidence of just how much technology, old and new school, has become an integral part of our lives. The survey tracks five generations--Baby boomers, Generation X (30-36 year-olds), adult millennials (18-29, teenage millennials, and iGen (12 and under)-- across five periods of the day. Beginning at 6 a.m., we are turned on, plugged in and logged on.
In breaking down online activities, Facebook rates its own category, and with ample reason. We spend about a third of our time on the dominant social network. Not surprisingly, it is being used most by younger generations. When the clock strikes 9 a.m. 44 percent of adult millennials are using Facebook compared to 26 percent of baby boomers. For teens, Facebook rates second just behind listening to music. Nearly half of baby boomers, meanwhile, are online gathering news and information
As the day unfolds, TV makes its comeback. Beginning at 5 p.m. and on through the night and wee hours, TV rules across all the generations (except for iGens, who between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. (when presumably they should be asleep) are engaged with their personal media players.
While boomers are watching television or movies on television, younger generations are more likely to be surfing the web for news or entertainment (when they are not on Facebook, of course).
Watching videos online, too, seems to be the provence of the young. Between 8-11 p.m., only 12 percent of boomers are watching videos compared to 26 percent of teen millennials. But boomers and Generation X are most likely to be reading a book or shopping online during these hours, while nearly a quarter of teen millennials and iGens are playing console games.
One is heartened that 19 percent of iGens are reading books between the hours of 8-11 p.m.. But are they reading for pleasure or homework?