I keep tabulating online hours. For my kids, for myself, even for the colleagues I see on Facebook and Twitter. It is mind boggling.
A Kaiser Family Foundation study has me fascinated. The study indicates that eight to eighteen year olds spend more than 7-1/2 hours a day with media. This is seven days a week. Our kids find these 7-1/2 hours when they are not listening to a teacher, eating family meals, reading for school, participating in sports and sleeping.
This study will impact the way that those of us who use media as a business tool target young people. First of all we know that they are connected, and connected almost all the time. We know that there is a lot of information competing for our kids’ attention. Kaiser reported that young people pack 10 hours and 45 minutes of media content into 7-1/2 hours. Our children are masters of multi-tasking. Or not.
I cannot imagine that kids are absorbing and processing this content well. In the interest of getting a lot, perhaps they are not getting it well. The suggestion that they “sit down and concentrate” seems passé. Concentrate on which window, for how long?
This all makes me sad. In my house, I still cherish time spent lying in bed with my kids and reading books. NOT on Kindles or iPads, but the old-fashioned hard cover, page-turning type of books.
Our messages have to be faster, flashier and more skilled at grabbing a slice of fractured attention than the messages we created before, to do just the same thing. Our marketing efforts, and especially our educational efforts, have to capitalize on our kids’ ability to tolerate “media noise” and their inevitably waning ability to concentrate.
As our business colleagues dive into social media, and spend at least some portion of the business day flitting from Twitter to Facebook to blog, we also have to craft new strategies for attention-capturing business communication. This morning I read an interesting post by Chad White on his blog "Email Insider," on effective email marketing.
I pride myself on being an efficient multi-tasker, but this made me think about slowing down, if just for a moment. I will try to write better business emails, with meaty subject lines and more carefully crafted content. And I will write some real letters. Because although emails are extremely effective and efficient, nothing captures the attention of a business executive quite as much as a hand written note. Just an idea for future marketing … it will stand out from the clutter.del.icio.us | digg it! | reddit! | Google!