Submitted by PlanetFreeWill
A new study has found that a third of teenagers haven’t read a single book in the past year as internet aged activities dominate their lives.
The research also shows that a minute portion of sophomore aged teens are picking up newspapers to read up on the real world.
Researchers from San Diego State University analyzed four decades’ worth of data from an ongoing, nationally-based lifestyle survey studying teens, finding that twelfth-graders reported reading two fewer books each year in 2016 compared with 1976.
Approximately one-third of these teens did not read a book for pleasure in the year prior to the 2016 survey, nearly triple the number reported in the 1970s, the study finds.
“Bookworm teens have always been few and far between, but now they seem like a dying breed,” Daniel Steingold of Study Finds writes.
The meteoric rise of internet-based activities cannot be understated: between social media, texting, gaming, and surfing the web, the average high school senior spent six hours a day online in 2016 — double the time from a decade earlier. Eighth graders (4 hours a day) and tenth graders (5 hours a day) didn’t lag far behind.
Naturally, many of these hours have come at the expense of traditional media, including books, newspapers, and magazines. In the early 90s, a third of tenth graders reported reading the daily paper — this figure dropped to an astonishing two percent by 2016. During the late 70s, 60 percent of 12th graders read a book or magazine almost daily, but only 16 percent did by 2016.
According to Jean M. Twenge, the study’s lead author, the ability teens now have to jump between digital media, such as texting, web surfing and gaming potentially creates a burden on their ability to dive into long reads such as textbooks.
“Think about how difficult it must be to read even five pages of an 800-page college textbook when you’ve been used to spending most of your time switching between one digital activity and another in a matter of seconds,” Twenge said. “It really highlights the challenges students and faculty both face in the current era.”
The researchers also revealed that new aged digital media is also taking its toll on the amount of time teens are using television and watching movies.
Thirteen percent of eighth graders said they watched five or more hours of television per day in 2016, compared to 22% in the 1990s.