Limits...
IT, TV and Time Displacement: What Alexander Szalai Anticipated but Couldn't Know.

Robinson JP - Soc Indic Res (2010)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 USA.

ABSTRACT

Support for the argument that IT use results in, or is even associated with, lower time in social and media activities is not found in the ATUS, a finding which is in keeping with most of the previous literature in the field (including the several studies conducted in other countries). The results are consistent with Hampton et al.’s (2009) more recent study of IT use and social isolation.

In the ATUS study of daily activities, Internet use was actually associated with increased usage of reading, radio listening and some other behaviors. The main difference between users and nonusers in the ATUS was with time at paid work, a relation that is only partially explained by higher Internet use by teens and on days off from work. How IT use relates so strongly with less work time is unclear, but it suggests that IT users seek to verify information from one medium to another.

In neither national study since 2000, then, does one find any notable evidence of social capital being negatively related with use of IT. In marked contrast to the Fig. 1 results from the Szalai study, done just in time to capture the changes that appear to have come with TV, the comparison with the new revolutionary technology of IT could not be more striking. The time variable, measured either by the diary or estimate method, seems virtually unmoved when examining the Internet. That is reflected in the ATUS data in Table 2, where it can be seen that TV time in the US today consumes almost ten times as many weekly hours as IT.

At the same time, that does not mean that time is the best measuring rod for assessing IT’s impact. The GSS questions on usage of IT for health and job information, and for social communication, all showed that by 2004 the Internet was surpassing previous media in providing these functions, and it seems unlikely that it has decreased since then. At the same time, there was little evidence that that meant that these previous media declined as news or communication sources, consistent with the findings in Table 2. Somehow, the Internet has made its presence felt without disrupting time. Thanks to Szalai’s study, we have evidence of how TV stands alone as having revolutionized the use of time.

In addition to documenting the nascent “gender revolution” in work and housework, then, Szalai’s pioneering efforts have also resulted in providing clear evidence of how TV has revolutionized daily life. It is a change that truly revolutionized time, perhaps reflecting how TV has universally meant trading short-term pleasure for long-term dysfunction.

No MeSH data available.


US 1965–2005 trends in TV and other free time (Ages 18–64, in hours per week)
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Fig2: US 1965–2005 trends in TV and other free time (Ages 18–64, in hours per week)

Mentions: More Recent Time Trends: The initial time transformations in Fig. 1, however, have not remained static, but have continued since the 1960s especially in the US, as documented in subsequent diary studies conducted each decade since the 1960s. Figure 2 shows US, TV viewing as a primary activity has steadily increased from about 10 weekly hours in the 1960s (among those working-aged 18–64) to almost 15 h in 1975 (mainly, it seems, in response to color TV), to 15 h again in 1985, and to 16 h in 1995 and 2005. Indeed, the 5-h increase in TV time from 1965 to 1975 equaled the total 5-h increase in free time over that 1965–75 decade.Fig. 2


IT, TV and Time Displacement: What Alexander Szalai Anticipated but Couldn't Know.

Robinson JP - Soc Indic Res (2010)

US 1965–2005 trends in TV and other free time (Ages 18–64, in hours per week)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3046357&req=5

Fig2: US 1965–2005 trends in TV and other free time (Ages 18–64, in hours per week)
Mentions: More Recent Time Trends: The initial time transformations in Fig. 1, however, have not remained static, but have continued since the 1960s especially in the US, as documented in subsequent diary studies conducted each decade since the 1960s. Figure 2 shows US, TV viewing as a primary activity has steadily increased from about 10 weekly hours in the 1960s (among those working-aged 18–64) to almost 15 h in 1975 (mainly, it seems, in response to color TV), to 15 h again in 1985, and to 16 h in 1995 and 2005. Indeed, the 5-h increase in TV time from 1965 to 1975 equaled the total 5-h increase in free time over that 1965–75 decade.Fig. 2

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 USA.

ABSTRACT

Support for the argument that IT use results in, or is even associated with, lower time in social and media activities is not found in the ATUS, a finding which is in keeping with most of the previous literature in the field (including the several studies conducted in other countries). The results are consistent with Hampton et al.’s (2009) more recent study of IT use and social isolation.

In the ATUS study of daily activities, Internet use was actually associated with increased usage of reading, radio listening and some other behaviors. The main difference between users and nonusers in the ATUS was with time at paid work, a relation that is only partially explained by higher Internet use by teens and on days off from work. How IT use relates so strongly with less work time is unclear, but it suggests that IT users seek to verify information from one medium to another.

In neither national study since 2000, then, does one find any notable evidence of social capital being negatively related with use of IT. In marked contrast to the Fig. 1 results from the Szalai study, done just in time to capture the changes that appear to have come with TV, the comparison with the new revolutionary technology of IT could not be more striking. The time variable, measured either by the diary or estimate method, seems virtually unmoved when examining the Internet. That is reflected in the ATUS data in Table 2, where it can be seen that TV time in the US today consumes almost ten times as many weekly hours as IT.

At the same time, that does not mean that time is the best measuring rod for assessing IT’s impact. The GSS questions on usage of IT for health and job information, and for social communication, all showed that by 2004 the Internet was surpassing previous media in providing these functions, and it seems unlikely that it has decreased since then. At the same time, there was little evidence that that meant that these previous media declined as news or communication sources, consistent with the findings in Table 2. Somehow, the Internet has made its presence felt without disrupting time. Thanks to Szalai’s study, we have evidence of how TV stands alone as having revolutionized the use of time.

In addition to documenting the nascent “gender revolution” in work and housework, then, Szalai’s pioneering efforts have also resulted in providing clear evidence of how TV has revolutionized daily life. It is a change that truly revolutionized time, perhaps reflecting how TV has universally meant trading short-term pleasure for long-term dysfunction.

No MeSH data available.