Teens and Social Networks Kids and Mobile Devices Blacks’ Positive Views
Social Activities of Older Americans Television is Favorite Media Activity Smartphones and Shopping
Wealthy Web Searchers

Teens and Social Networks

The majority of teens (88%) use social networking sites every day, including 70% who use them at least an hour or more daily. Most (58%) say they would take into account the ability to access social networks at work when evaluating a job offer from a potential employer. However, they do not consider the reactions of college admissions officers (40%), or present or future employers (38%), or parents (30%) when they post information on a social network. The chart below shows how teens are using social networks to do good in the world.

Kids and Mobile Devices

Kids and teenagers (age 8-18) spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media in a typical day, and more than 53 hours per week. This reflects an increase of one hour and 17 minutes per day since 2005.

Ownership of mobile devices among those in this age group over the past five years increased from 39% to 66% for cell phones, and from 18% to 76% for iPods and MP3 players.

Young people now spend more time listening to music, playing games and watching TV on their cell phones (49 minutes daily) than they spend talking on them (33 minutes daily).

Blacks’ Positive Views

Some 39% of Blacks say they were better off in 2009 than they were in 2004, compared to 12% who think they were worse off. In addition, 53% of Blacks believe their situation will improve in the coming five years, compared to 10% who say it will be worse.

Both Blacks (60%) and Whites (70%) think that the values of their two racial groups have become more similar in the past 10 years. They also believe the gap in their standard of living has narrowed (56% of Blacks and 65% of Whites). However, Blacks’ annual household income is only 62% of Whites’, a smaller proportion than it was in 2000 (65%).

One-half of Blacks (52%) say that Blacks who cannot get ahead are responsible for their own situation, compared to 34% who think it is due to racism.

Social Activities of Older Americans

The social activities of Americans age 45 and older vary greatly by race/ethnicity as seen in the following chart.

Television is Favorite Media Activity

Americans age 14-75 say that watching TV (34%) is their favorite media activity. In second place is surfing the Internet, preferred by only 14%.

They watch 18 hours of TV in a typical week, up from 16 hours in 2008. For Americans age 14-26, they now watch 15 hours a week, up from 10.5 in 2008. One explanation for this increase is that during the recession, most Americans reported cutting back on expenses such as concerts, DVDs, CDs and sporting events, leaving TV as a less expensive entertainment alternative.

Most (86%) say they prefer to watch TV shows on their set live, via DVR, or On Demand. Only 10% prefer to watch shows online, however, 65% say they would like to be able to connect their TV to the Internet to view video or download content.

Television continues to be the most influential advertising medium with American consumers, with 83% saying it is among the top three media which affect their buying decisions.

Smartphones and Shopping

More than one-third of smartphone owners (37%) say they have made a purchase from their devices. The number would have been higher – 45% reported they had to abandon online shopping carts for some sites because the site would not load properly.

Shoppers with Android phones (32%) and iPhones (29%) are more likely to be willing to spend more than $100 using their phone than those with Windows (15%), Blackberry (14%), or Palm phones (13%).

Wealthy Web Searchers

According to The Luxury Institute, 63% of wealthy Americans (those with salaries of $150,000 or more per year) click on the first link that isn’t labeled “paid” or “sponsored” at the top of a page of search results when they are looking for information online.

Some 69% of wealthy web searchers say they have no problem clicking on a paid or sponsored link if it is relevant. About one-half (52%) say that paid search results are usually not relevant, which could explain why 48% ignore them.

More than four in 10 (41%) do not trust paid search results, and 46% admit they can’t tell the difference between paid and standard results.

Most do not review results after the first page. To improve searches, 56% use search engine suggestions for similar searches, and 40% use the “did you mean …” option offered by the search engines.


  • Most Americans (84%) read consumer magazines. Some 72% read issues in print even when the same content is also available online. Fifty-four percent of readers say the magazines influence their recommendations of products to friends and family.
  • Some 34% of consumers used a newspaper circular to help them shop during their last visit to a grocery store, while 26% used a circular from the store, and 11% asked a sales associate for help.
  • Cell phone ownership in the U.S. continues to rise with 87% of adults (up from 78% in 2008), 72% of 12-17 year olds (up from 69%), and 21% of 6-11 year olds (up from 19%) now having their own devices.

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