Kids cram more hours into media day

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Children are such avid multitaskers that they cram essentially eight hours and 26 minutes of media use into about six hours and 13 minutes, according to a research report from Viacom's Nickeloden called "The New Normal."

The report, issued this month, studied children aged 6 to 14 and found that 26% of the time when they are consuming media they are are using varied media at once.

They are watching TV: Some 69% of kids have a TV in their bedroom. But even that holds a huge array of choices. Kids' households average more than 100 TV channels today, compared with around 33 channels in the early 1990s. They consume an average of 24 hours and seven minutes of digital cable per week.

They're also using broadband on their PCs, for an average of 16 hours, 48 minutes a week. Half of children in the age group studied have Internet access via broadband in their homes. They are also text-messaging madly-sending an average of 14.4 text messages and making 8.8 calls on their cellphones each day.

Parents say caring for children has become more challenging. Some 73% of parents think it's harder to be a parent today than when their parents raised them, and 62% say it is harder to be a kid today than when they were growing up.

"The New Normal" incorporates several Nickelodeon-commissioned studies and research initiatives from sources like The Kaiser Family Foundation.

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