How Technology Influences the New American Family

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A new Nielson report takes a look at how multicultural families across America are adapting to today’s digital landscape. This new report — pieced together with data from the U.S. Census Bureau, The Pew Research Center, and numerous other studies conducted by the global leader in data compilation — paints a revealing and colorful portrait of how technology influences our everyday lives.

The report’s introduction states what most already know, namely that “The white, two-parent, ‘Leave It to Beaver’ family unit of the 1950s has evolved into a multi-layered, multi-cultural construct dominated by older, childless households.”

Some of the results are surprising— others not so much. Here’s a rundown of the most interesting data points. Make of them what you will:

– Mothers who visit blogs regularly (ages 21-49) spend less time watching live TV, but are more likely to use DVR playback. What’s in their queue? Blog-viewing moms are partial to (in no particular order): Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Biggest Loser 8, House, The Office, Modern Family, NBC Sunday Night Football, So You Think You Can Dance, Brothers & Sisters, and CSI.

Mom’s who don’t read blogs? Keen on Desperate Housewives and Fox NFL Sunday.

– High-income families watch less television than other families, and spend far and away the most time browsing the Internet.

– High-income families also spend less time on Facebook and YouTube than others. What’s their digital poison? The report says they’re spending “more time on the Apple website than the average family, presumably downloading music or servicing their Macs.” Rich families use Macs? I’m dumbfounded.

– While only 11 percent of Hispanic families do their banking online, 30 percent conduct transactions on their mobile phones.

– No one’s getting married anymore — or if they are, they’re taking their time. Why? The study cites “a period of extended adolescence” (supporting a popular NY Times article‘s thesis) and a bad economy post-graduation. In 1960, 72 percent of the United States’ adult population was married. In 2008, that’s plummeted to 52 percent.

– African-Americans own four or more TVs per household and spend more time watching premium cable than anyone. They also log the most cell phone airtime (1,261 minutes) per month— more than any other group.

– Asian-Americans log about 80 hours on the Internet per month while viewing a mind blowing 3,600 web pages. That’s 3.5 times more than any other group. Also interesting: While they watch less TV than any other group, they also stream twice as much online video. Again — speaking as an Asian-American — I’m dumbfounded.

(Source: Nielsen)

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