The January/February 2011 issue of The Atlantic magazine includes graphical representations of how the recession has changed life in this country. Naturally, it focuses largely on economic issues, such as the reality that 24% of 18-29 year olds have moved back home either because they are unemployed or underemployed. So what are they doing with their time? Well, the teens in that group are probably not reading this blog or a newspaper, or anything substantive, for that matter.
According to Tim Lavin, a senior editor of the magazine, in 2007, 15 to 19 year olds spent an average of 16 minutes each weekend day reading. In 2009, that reading time dropped to a mere 5 minutes per day. What did increase, however, was the amount of time that this same group played computer games. In 2007 the average time for game playing was almost 47 minutes, but that rose to more than 61 minutes in 2009. The numbers speak for themselves. Can we reverse this troubling trend?