The time devoted to both conventional and social media each day is growing

Jul 02, 2014

Smartphones have made it far easier for people to find and exchange information and to make their views heard. In 2010, 14 per cent of the people of Sweden had access to a smartphone; three years later, in 2013, the figure is 67 per cent. More time is devoted to both online editions of traditional media and social media. And, for the first time in several years total time spent with media has increased in the entire population, to an average 6 hours and 18 minutes.

Men and women under the age of 45 are leading the trend; fully 90 per cent of this age group have access to smartphones and use them for intensified media use and communicative activity. Measured in time, men use smartphones primarily to access audio and visual media and to read daily newspapers; women spend more time interacting in social networks and reading blogs.

At the same time, new digital divides have emerged, particularly between different categories defined by level of formal education. The differences between the most highly and least educated groups with respect to access to both smartphones and other mobile media, like laptops and tablets, are striking. The differences in access are reflected in all forms of online media use. 'Divides' in information-gathering and social participation have become more accentuated.

Independent and plural media have long been considered a cornerstone of democracy. Democratic rule presumes well-informed citizens equipped with critical faculties. Well-informed citizens are in turn dependent on reliable media and journalists who take their 'watchdog' role seriously. What implications may existing digital divides have for democracy and freedom of expression?

"One thing is certain," says Professor Ulla Carlsson, who is responsible for the survey. "Any media and communication culture that undergoes such profound changes as those we see at present requires media- and information-savvy citizens with sharp eyes."

Visual digital media continue to displace reading. Traditional media and new platforms co-exist, side by side. Traditional media continue to dominate media use in all but the youngest group (9-14 years). In many respects, we still live in a TV-oriented world. Eighty-three per cent of the population watched television the average day in 2013. The vast majority (81 percent) still watch television via a conventional television set. The corresponding figure for web-TV is 6 per cent the average day, but weekly use of web-TV increased from 27 to 33 per cent between 2012 and 2013.

Reading of daily newspapers, particularly morning papers, continues to decline. The reach of the morning press has fallen from 72 per cent in 2007 to 56 per cent in 2013 (reading of both hard-copy and web editions). The time spent reading morning newspapers the average day differs between hard-copy and online editions: readers of morning papers spend 30 minutes with their newspaper on paper, compared to 15 minutes online.

Different media and platforms complement one another in an increasingly fragmented landscape – among those who have access to both and are free to choose.

Explore further: Exploring media use among young Hispanic children

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Use of social media on the rise

Jun 14, 2011

Every year, Nordicom at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden takes a barometer reading of media use in Sweden. Media Barometer data were first collected in 1979. These are some of the findings of the 2010 survey.

Exploring media use among young Hispanic children

Dec 12, 2013

Hispanic children read for more than an hour a day, an average of 14 minutes more per day than non-Hispanic white children, according to a new study released today (Dec. 11) by Northwestern University and the National Center ...

For viewers, Sochi will be first 'fully mobile' Olympics

Feb 04, 2014

The Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 7-23, are expected to generate a dramatic rise in Web and mobile viewing, but that does not mean viewers will abandon the traditional television-viewing experience for digital media, says a ...

Toddlers getting more tablet use, study finds

Oct 28, 2013

The craze for tablets and smartphones is spreading to ever younger users. A new study of American households found 38 percent of toddlers and infants under the age of two have used a mobile device such as ...

Recommended for you

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

21 minutes ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

51 minutes ago

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

3 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

User comments : 0