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Any Time Left in Our Day for Life?


An Old Claim (1987): By the time an average American child reaches age eighteen, he or she will have:

  • Watched more than 17,000 hours of television
  • Seen 360,000 television commercials
  • Observed more than 15,000 television murders
A New Claim (Nielson Report, 2012): The average American over the age of 2 spends more than 34 hours a week watching live television:
  • Children 2-11 watch an average of 24 hours of TV a week, or 3 1/2 hours each day.
  • Teens, ages 12-17, watch an average of 22 hours of TV each week.
  • Young adults, ages 18-24, watch an average of 25 hours of TV each week
  • The number increases steadily with age, noting that people over age 65 average 48 hours of watching TV each week, or nearly seven hours a day.
This data does not include another 3-6 hours watching taped television programs...and the average person spends less than 5-7 hours a week exploring the Internet.

Task 1: Design and do a survey to determine the accuracy of this data or claims....plus convert to common units to determine if television watching has increased or decreased.

Task 2: Design and do a survey to determine the effect of cell phones impacts this data, given that TV information/programs are now accessible by the phones...plus, much more via apps.

Task 3: Modify the 1987 claim to fit more current data, as to the number of commercials watched or the number of television murders witnessed....and that does not include product placement within television shows or the nightly news!