Many parents and grandparents will grumble about today’s screen-obsessed youth. Indeed, researchers find that millennials look at their phones more than 150 times a day; half of them check their devices in the middle of the night; a third glance at them immediately after waking up. And yet, when all screens are accounted for, it is in fact older folk who seem most addicted. According to Nielsen, a market-research firm, Americans aged 65 and over spend nearly ten hours a day consuming media on their televisions, computers and smartphones. That is 12% more than Americans aged 35 to 49, and a third more than those aged 18 to 34 (the youngest cohort for whom Nielsen has data).
American seniors “spend an average of seven hours and 30 minutes in front of the box, about as much as they did in 2015,” the report says. “The spend another two hours staring at their smartphones, a more than seven-fold increase from four years ago.”
Millennials have increased the time they spend on their mobile devices, but it’s been largely offset by their dwindling interest in TV. As for teenagers, a report from 2015 by Common Sense Media “found that American teens aged 13-18 spent about six hours and 40 minutes per day on screens: slightly more than Nielsen recorded for 18- to 34-year-olds that year, but less than older generations.”