Trend Watch: How Chatter Matters in TV Viewing

A new study from cable in­dustry as­so­ci­ation CTAM – and con­duc­ted by Nielsen – looks at how we talk about tele­vi­sion, what we talk about, when and with whom this chat­ter takes place, and how this dia­logue in­flu­ences TV en­gage­ment and tune-in be­ha­vi­or.

Infographic: Chatter Matters When Watching TV

OMG! Text Messaging Celebrates 20th Anniversary

TextingYou might not believe it, but text messaging is already past its teen years.

The thumb-numbing communications format that has become a favorite of teenagers and created a language of its own turned 20 on Monday.

The very first SMS was sent out on Dec. 3, 1992 when English engineer Neil Papworth, while working at the English tech company Sema, wrote "Merry Christmas" on his computer and sent it off to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis.


Related: Text Message's 20th Anniversary Finds Users Turning to Facebook

Social TV and the Rise of the 'Connected Viewer'

SocialtvResearch conducted by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has found that half of all adult cell phone owners now incorporate their mobile devices into their television watching experiences.

These “connected viewers” used their cell phones for a wide range of activities during the 30 days preceding our April 2012 survey:

Taken together, 52% of all cell owners are “connected viewers”—meaning they use their phones while watching television for at least one of these reasons.

You can read the full report, The Rise of the 'Connected Viewer'.

How Texting Can Save Teen Lives

image from crisistextline.orgWhen Nancy Lublin, CEO of the teen social change organization, started texting teenagers to help with her social advocacy organization, what she found was shocking -- they started texting back about their own problems, from bullying to depression to abuse.

Last year, Nancy and started using text messaging to market these campaigns. They text over 250,000 teens a week. And have found texting to be 11x more effective than email. is a charity that runs national campaigns impacting causes teens care about. For example, Teens for Jeans collected more than 1mil pairs of jeans for homeless youth. Give a Spit registered 15,000 new donors for the bone marrow registry--and has already saved 8 lives!

Her new project is a text-only crisis line, and the results might be even more important than she expected.

Take 5 minutes and watch this video. It will literally change the way you look at texting.


Here's How To Help

As a startup subsidiary of, Nancy and her team be able to leverage both the technological ability and experience from to help launch the Crisis Text Line.

The Crisis Text Line will use text messaging to connect teens with support and resources. The goal is to create a national (and ultimately international) infrastructure to ensure that teens can use SMS to get help 24/7.

By donating to this project, you will help that teen who is being bullied and feels they have no where to go. You will help the teen who is being sexually abused at home or the teen who has struggled with depression and is feeling suicidal. Your dollars could literally save lives.

Right now Crisis Text Line is crowdsourcing donations on Indiegogo. They are trying to raise funds to get the first phase of the project off the ground.

Please donate. $5, $25 or whatever you can to this cause. It doesn't matter how much. It just matters that YOU do something to help teens in crisis.

Infographic: How to Focus in the Age of Distraction

View Large | via

News out today that, according to one study, SpongeBob and other fast paced kids TV may cause young children to have problems focusing and may dampen their budding brain function.

While there are some flaws with the study, there's no doubt in the age of Tweets, Pokes, Tumblr, Google +ing and YouTube, it's harder than ever to focus on just one thing. That's where this handy flow chart comes in.

According to the creator, this infographic will help you managing your (head) space, clear distractions and help you do one thing at a time. Now turn off Sponge Bob and take time to reflect and review.

Ohm. Ohm. Ohm. And oh---stop picking on SpongeBob!

Global Youth: EU Kids Online Study Suggests Removing Age Restrictions on Facebook

image from Significant numbers of children are breaking the rules by setting up their own profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook, finds a new EU Kids Online study.

The report, Social Networking, Age and Privacy, found that 38 per cent of 9-12-year-olds use social networking sites, with one in five of the age group having a profile on Facebook, even though the network sets a minimum age of 13 to join.

"Since children often lie about their age to join 'forbidden' sites it would be more practical to identify younger users and to target them with easy-to-use protective measures."

Researchers who carried out the EU Kids Online survey of 25,000 young people across Europe say it shows that age restrictions are only partially effective and that a growing number of children are taking online risks.

A quarter of children on social networking sites have their profile set to ‘public’. One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles.

Professor Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics and Political Science, who directs the project, said: ‘It seems clear that children are moving to Facebook – this is now the most popular site in 17 of the 25 countries we surveyed. Many providers try to restrict their users to 13-year-olds and above but we can see that this is not effective.’

Especially younger children are less likely to use privacy options and to understand the safety features that are available. According to the report, across the 25 European countries surveyed, 57 per cent of children (aged 9 to 16) use Facebook as their sole or main social networking site. This ranges from 98 per cent in Cyprus, to only two per cent in Poland.

Need for better protective measures

The findings raise the possibility that removing age restrictions from social network sites might be the most effective way of improving online safety as the rules have the consequence of driving kids’ social networking underground.

Among other findings, the survey shows that almost one in six 9-12-year-olds, and one in three 13-16s, have 100 or more online contacts. Around a quarter of SMS users communicate online with people who have no connection to their offline lives, including one fifth of 9-12 year olds across all SMS (and one quarter of younger Facebook users).

Key findings of the report:

  • Social networking sites (SNS) are popular among European children: 38% of 9-12 year olds and 77% of 13-16 year olds have a profile. Facebook is used by one third of 9-16 year old internet users.
  • One in five 9-12 year olds have a Facebook profile, rising to over 4 in 10 in some countries.
  • Age restrictions are only partially effective, although there are many differences by country and SNS.
  • Younger children are more likely than older to have their profile ‘public’. A quarter of 9-12 year old SNS users have their profile ‘set to public’.
  • Parental rules for SMS use, when applied, are partly effective, especially for younger children.
  • One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles.
  • The features designed to protect children from other users if needed are not easily understood, by many younger and some older children.

EU Kids Online: Social Networking, Age and Privacy

Report: Minority Kids Spend Most of Their Waking Hours Plugged In

5a9d497a-3925-41e9-a4bd-e13c438a1b3e-kids-and-media.gif Minority children spend an average of 13 hours a day using mobile devices, computers, TVs and other media — about 4½ hours more than white kids, says a new report released earlier this month.

The findings, from Northwestern University, are being presented to childhood and telecommunications experts in Washington, D.C.

The results are from an analysis of two Kaiser Family Foundation surveys that tracked media use by kids 6 to 18.

Researchers analyzed that data to find out how black, Hispanic, Asian American and white youth use media for homework and for fun, and how long they're plugged in on any given day.

Among 8- to 18-year-olds, Asian Americans logged the most media use (13 hours, 13 minutes a day), followed by Hispanics (13 hours), blacks (12 hours, 59 minutes), and whites (8 hours, 36 minutes.)



The report shows that compared with white children, minority youth:

  • Watch TV and videos one to two hours more a day;
  • Listen to music about an hour more a day;
  • Use computers about 1½ hours more a day;
  • Play video games 30 to 40 minutes longer a day. Black (84%) and Hispanic kids (77%) also are more likely to have TVs in their bedrooms and to eat meals in front of the TV.

Read more about the Kaiser Family Foundation report on minority kids and media use >>>

Trend Watch: Twitter Finds a Place in the Classroom

Students tap away at their cell phones, laptops and iPads during Enrique Legaspi's high-tech history lesson.

In some grade schools, pulling out these devices during class would result in a one-way ticket to the principal's office. But Legaspi encourages this behavior, as long as the kids are using Twitter.

A technology enthusiast, Legaspi learned how to incorporate the social network into his 8th-grade curriculum while attending the annual Macworld convention in San Francisco earlier this year.

"I had an aha moment there," he said. "I said to myself, 'This is going to really engage my students.' "

Teachers across the country have been incorporating Twitter into classrooms for a few years, but the site's adoption by educational institutions appears to be limited. Read More >>>

Related: Facebook for Educators



Always Connected: The new digitial media habits of young children

image from Today’s parents, academics, policymakers and practitioners are scrambling to keep up with the rapid expansion of media use by children and youth for ever-larger portions of their waking hours.

This report by Sesame Workshop and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center takes a fresh look at data emerging from studies undertaken by Sesame Workshop, independent scholars, foundations, and market researchers on the media habits of young children, who are often overlooked in the public discourse that focuses on tweens.

The report reviews seven recent studies about young children and their ownership and use of media. By focusing on very young children and analyzing multiple studies over time, the report arrives at a new, balanced portrait of children’s media habits.

Always Connected was written by Aviva Lucas Gutnick, Michael Robb, Lori Takeuchi and Jennifer Kotler.

Always Connected: The new digitial media habits of young children

Trend Watch: Teen Girl Communication and Social Media Use

Girl.scouts.logo Kristen Purcell presents Pew Internet findings on teen communication trends and social network site use as part of a joint research project with the Girl Scout Research Institute.

The research report also features findings from the Girl Scout Research Institute's latest study of social network site use among teen girls.