Just read the recent Arbitron study that revealed the average person spends 1 hour and 21 minutes more each day consuming media than in 2001. This increase over the last ten years means that literally every spare minute of your time (is there really such a thing as spare time anymore?) is spent consuming content from the Internet, radio, television–literally absorbing new content. The reason is because of the proliferation of digital devices, namely smartphones, that enable 24/7 access to information that we are consuming during the time we normally take public transportation, wait in lines or offices. Smartphones, social media and online radio are the enablers of this behavior. It’s good news for content developers since it appears there is an ever increasing audience and appetite for all things digital. I only have one question: when was the last time you had a conversation with the person next to you at the grocery store, waiting room or bus stop?


20 thoughts on “Consumer Appetite for Media Insatiable

  1. What is this concept you talk of called “spare time”? You are right! I know every chance I get I am on my cell phone checking email, Facebook, or texting friends. I am so addicted that I do the dangerous thing of doing so while driving… I have read many articles about people dying because they texted while driving. Myth Busters actually did an episode where they showed that talking on your cell phone, even on a hands free device, is just as dangerous if not more dangerous than drunk driving. Also in March of 2010 AT&T release a video that discourages attempts to discourage texting and driving. This is a serious problem! I have decided that I need to get serious about the dangers of texting while driving. It is a threat to everyone’s lives while on the road.
    Here’s the website to the AT & T video: http://youtu.be/DebhWD6ljZs
    One has to ask themselves the question: do I really want my last word(s) to be a text?
    It’s not worth it. A text is not worth my life or anyone elses. I do admit I have a problem. Even after all this knowledge on the subject, I still text while driving.
    I do still have conversations with that person next to me at the grocery store, waiting room or bus stop, but not nearly as much as I did as teen when I did not even own a cell phone. Technology is a wonderful thing, but like anything else excess can become a real problem. I need help! I don’t even think I could go 24 hours without my phone…

  2. I saw a few episodes of Portlandia recently (television show starring Fred Armisen) in which they poke fun at Portlanders for being consumed in this technology loop and then again in another episode they make fun at how the possible loss of a phone would trigger a state of depression in a person. They claim that it’s an obvious exaggeration, but the fact is that the sketches are influenced by things that they actually witness. I for one, have forgotten my phone several times and have gone days without checking Facebook or watching television, and I’ve been fine, but that’s probably because of the fact that I just don’t have a lot of time to enjoy media. I get frustrated when someone says, I’m “anti-social” or ignoring them because I don’t ever respond on Facebook or take too long to respond to a text, when the truth is I still prefer normal conversation like a phone call or a chat over coffee.

  3. The increase in the internet usage shows the demand for information, however, addiction to such a trait is unfortunate. Internet, TV, and phone are meant to improve lifestyle and information search quality, and the fact that not having an access to it could be held accountable for depression would be a frustrating factor. I have personally and unintentionally been dragged into the high usage of internet which lack of access to internet, by phone or computer, would make me anxious. I believe this was not the original intention of technology, but such a high demand should be taken under control by considering technology, specifically internet, a product that improper usage of it could result in undesired outcomes.

  4. This discussion really makes me think how Media has impacted my life. First, I have to say media like internet, smart phones have brought lots of convenience to my life. For example, I can access the information that I want easily, and especially I am studying abroad now, internet and some web messengers provide more convenient ways for me to chat with my families or friends in my home country. On the other hand, I notice that since I have Smartphone, I have spent more time on media than before because Smartphone allows me to get the access more easily. Most of the times that I need to wait in line or bus stops, I usually surf the web, check my emails, or check on some social media sites through my Smartphone. Because sometimes I see people around me are doing the same things or sometimes we don’t know how to start a conversation, I just feel like these things could help me kill some waiting time. However, for communication way, although we have more ways to chat with to people now, I still prefer face-to-face communication rather than texting or emailing because I feel like face-to-face communication can cause less miscommunication.

  5. I think when a person is by themselves…access to a phone is like a security blanket. If they would be otherwise in an uncomfortable situation, a smartphone can help people forget about their worries. I do however think it creates a more inhuman interaction, but it makes us cherish old forms of media like personal letters or cards.

    I think people have been predicting more technological advancements= more technological communication for years… Look at the Jetsons, or Terminator movies which have been around forever. It’s a give/ pull society…we go from one fad to the next..but just like 80’s trends and Atari games get brought back into current culture, so do concepts we miss… Like old fashion communication. Give it a few years… I bet someone will invent or re-market an old trend that will bring back old school communication lines. Then again,who can truly predict the future?

  6. I agree with Ashley, I think people definitely use their phones as a security blanket, whether they are doing it consciously or not. I know I definitely do it, if I’m waiting to meet someone at a restaurant and they’re late, I will pull out my phone and check my email or look something up. On the other hand, I do have to say that doing things like this has saved me a couple of times. I have been known to pull out my phone and pretend to be having a conversation when I see someone from Greenpeace or another organization that I don’t feel like interacting with for the millionth time walking towards me. I think a great deal of this increased media usage probably comes from people partaking in this type of behavior, avoiding human contact and turning to technology instead.

  7. I think it is true that with the media sources the way they are today, people are completely inundated with advertising. This creates a lot of avenues for advertisers, but it also makes it harder for them as well. With all of the new avenues opening up, consumers are finding new ways to block or tune out the noise. So marketers have to find way to make sure their audience is actually viewing their content.

    I think it like my cousin said when Ipods came out. Everyone now has their ear buds in and no one is talking with strangers anymore. I think that could also be because so much of our day is consumed with people trying to sell us things, that we have no patience for communicating with strangers.

  8. I agree with Matt, because I really think the media source is growing in today world, and more people are using media to create their consumer advertising. The main point here is why people spent most of their time to view other consumer perception towards a product, and who really cares what other people really think about it. I remember my first time ever taking the bus when I had conversion with a random person over how the buses take a long time on Sunday afternoon. The conversion was really over how the buses charge a lot of money and how and why they take longer time period on the weekend. In my case taking to a random stranger makes no sense sometimes, because I truly feel it just waste of my time.

  9. Nowadays, consumers have more ways to access to internet than a decade ago. The increasing digital device such as smartphones, tablet PC, television have broaden the ways we hear social media. Unlike the old days, computer is not the only way to access the internet. Portable digital devices have becoming very popular that would take the position as home computers. People can simply use their smartphone to surf the internet, check emails, watch news, do online shop and so on. Digital device has simplified our lives in many different ways. When I started owning my smartphone, I was so shocked by its amazing functions. Especially, its various apps market has different types of entertainments. When I am taking public transportation, I no longer make phone calls to tri-met to get real arrival time. Now, I can simply put a stop ID number on smartphone’s tri-met app, I would give me an accurate bus arrival time. Owning a smartphone has been giving me a lot of convenience. When I am waiting for the bus or waiting in line, I can use my smartphone to kill boring times. On the other, digital devices exist may reduce our communication to meet new people. The more we stick with digital devices, the less intercommunication we have to other people.

  10. I got my first iphone two months ago, and boy has it changed my life in many ways. As a heavy user of public transportation, I can say that having a smart phone makes trips a lot faster, but I will admit I havent had a conversation with someone on the bus in a very long time. I appreciate the fact that I am capable of being constantly entertained on the go, but I don’t believe that it has made my life easier.

    With so much information circulating throughout the entire day, I am beginning to fear that I won’t catch wind of something the moment it happens. Because of that, I am always checking my phone for updates. I can’t help but think back when I was living with a $2 dollar phone with no internet and no tv (3 months ago) and how much more approachable I was.

    It strange being a millenial, going from VHS, cassettes, and caller id to blue ray, mp3s and iphones. How much crazier could it get? (smart glass houses)

  11. Technology today really has a way of making life easier for advertisers. Its crazy how many ads we get a day now on our apps. Just wait its only a matter of time before those ads get more personable….. well they already are except they are not saying our name and showing us our favorite colors……. but i am sure they will.

    Technology is making it easier for us to avoid human connections. The other day I did not have my Ipod and I realized that It was while since I really listened to the sounds of the city. What was amusing was how many people I noticed wearing headphones walking around in their own world not noticing the rest of the world.

    1. I agree with you. The internet and the fact that people spend more and more time on it is a great opportunity for advertising and sprending information. indeed, we can see the development of advertising on the internet like on Youtube but also it is a fantastic tool to deal with crisis in Public Relation. companies can put their news release and also communicate on Facebook and also Twitter which are social network that people use a lot.

  12. With so many innovations and new technologies coming into place, we cant help ourselves but “Use It All”. My previous job required a full day by a computer. I would come home do my homework on a computer as well, in addition to surfing the web and what not. Sometimes I just wish we still did hw by hand and had some assignments that would allow us to All in all I do not deny the benefit of technology and how much easier it makes our life. But…I still don’t have internet on my phone, barely ever watch TV, and actually talk to my fellow bus riders as I commute to PSU each time….:) The way I see it: we can’t forget about the world around us…there’s much more to it!!

  13. Sorry, typo. I meant to say that i wish we did some assignments that would allow us to do something other than using the comp.

  14. It does seem like the majority of my spare time is spent checking up on social media and other computer activities, namely keeping up with music. Going on Facebook is a daily thing now and something I do multiple times a day. I was late to join the Facebook craziness (almost 2 years now) and have since been on it constantly. I rarely watch tv however, unless it’s sports related, and hardly listen to the radio. Random conversations do still happen though. The last one I can remember was in a Fred Meyers when I was about to take a particular product off the shelf. People are intrigued when you are curious about products they buy and it showed when they started gauging my interest and asking questions. I wasn’t expecting this reaction but it was interesting to see the true interest, more specifically what I thought about it, why i liked it, etc.

  15. I agree that people talk less to the person sitting next to then with the advancement of smartphones, but I see this as both a positive and a negative.

    negative in that you lose sight of the present and can seem inconsiderate to the person you’re with.

    Positive in that you cherish those moments more. Basic things like hereof a letter in the mail mean so much more now than they did when that was the only form of communication possible…

  16. Only crazy people talk to complete strangers on the bus or in public. I prefer to keep my communications with complete strangers relegated to the web. That way when I decided to say something inappropriate there will be no consequences.

  17. It is a sad truth that we are now controlled and somewhat addicted to the mass media and the accessibility we have to it. It controls us whether we like it or not. I caught myself wanting to check my Facebook status updates while sitting in traffic the other day and told myself I was crazy! Keep your eyes on the road.

    Our society is changing in the direction of having that instant gratification. Knowing where people are and what they are doing is so important. Our priorities are changing. We look over the conversations or the moments that we could be more productive or even enjoying, but no, we are on our phones.

    I think that we can’t run from it. With technology ever evolving, it will continue to become an “addiction” however, it is up to us to try not to be so accessible.

  18. As sad as it is, most young people today including myself are on their phones every free minute they get! According to Rich Trenholm who wrote an article called “You spend 23 days a year on your phone, say new figures” we spend on average 90 minutes a day on our phones sending texts, making calls, using apps, games and using social media. That’s 32,850 minutes a year, or 22.8 days!! This shows how we live our lives now days. There is no time to communicate to strangers on the bus or in a grocery store. We have technology in our hands that allows us to communicate without having to see our friends in person or meet new people in real world. I wonder how else technology will change our lives in the near future.

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