Kids know “multi” when they see it

Hey, big surprise: Young people surf and watch TV simultaneously.

We knew this already. We’d read the articles –

– and we’ve lived it ourselves. A moderately unusual but not at all uncommon day here in the Fortress of Content Solitude has all of the following going at once: ICQ, Eudora (offline), Pine (online, in real time), Lynx and a graphical browser, all on two monitors; television; the radio; a cup of tea, laced with the hooch of pure vanilla extract.

“Nearly half of online children age 8 to 12 say they do nothing else but watch TV when it is on; but 52 percent are engaged in other forms of media consumption at the same time, according to [some kind of survey or other],” reads a new report.

The kids can handle all that stimuli. So can anyone vaguely classifiable as Generation X, because we were the first generation to grow up with television and then also computers. We have a few ideas on where to go with this fact. Good to see it is now very well documented.

Oh, and one more thing: If all these people have computers and TV sets going all at once, what makes you think anyone wants the two of them rolled into one? Actually, the EasyWeb propaganda repeats puffery from some consultant or other: “These so-called ‘telewebbers’ are prime candidates for the early adoption of a single device, either a TV or a PC, which offers interactive programming, the researcher found.“ But: “This interactivity, however, cannot be intrusive or take away from the primary activity of watching TV.” Well, that rather militates against convergence, doesn’t it? Fie on it, we say.

Posted on 2001-01-16