By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil
Whew! Is it me? Or is 2012 flying by already? I am a January baby, and I celebrate my born day at the beginning of the month. As soon as my birthday is over, I sometimes feel like its July already, mainly because I am a busy lady and the days just get away from me so quickly. You know the feeling, whether it’s your job, taking care of your family’s needs, making sure you even remember to take care of your needs…it’s tough.
On top of balancing all of that, you have to know what’s going on in the world. Remember when televisions and radios were the only sources? I do. Have you ever wondered what in the world you did before having a cell phone, a laptop or tablet? Today, our BFF gadgets allow us to multitask and Nielsen’s most recent State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report, shares a few interesting insights that may explain how you can cook dinner, go out for a run and find out if it was Blue Ivy or Ivy Blue Carter that Beyoncė and Jay-Z named their baby girl.
The television still reigns supreme and is the most popular device. What’s old is new – still. Two hundred-ninety million people in the U.S. own at least one television, and 85.9 million households have upgraded cable services such as broadband TV. Even though you can watch all of your favorite videos on multiple devices now, 288 million viewers (ages 2+) use their televisions – with the internet and time-shifted television at 143 million and 111 million, respectively. And because multitasking is an art, Americans (ages 2+), still manage to find time to watch an average of 32 hours and 47 minutes of television weekly. Blacks still over-index, watching television at least 49 hours and 84 minutes a week.
According to the report, multicultural consumers make up the bulk of the smartphone market. Forty-eight percent of Blacks chose them as the preferred mobile device. Now, I have a confession. I love watching videos on my phone, the convenience of the apps, easy access to my emails, a quick Facebook status update, but I don’t like to talk on it. I know that’s what a cell phone is for, right? I always have to apologize to my girlfriends when I accidentally hang-up on them during a call because my cheek presses “end” by mistake. I’ve had my smartphone for a while, and don’t get me wrong I love it, but the touchscreen is just not my friend sometimes. But, the smartphone does help me multitask, so I adjust.
Like me, others watch video and keep up with their social lives on their smartphones, too. Thirty million people (ages 2+) use their mobile phones to watch video, and spend an average of seven minutes weekly watching their favorites. These are the top video sites visited on a mobile phone:
- Comedy Central
And 37 percent use their phones for easier access to instantly share with my family and friends my many adventures with just a few characters and my favorite pictures. The iPad and gaming consoles (3%) are also devices used for social media according to the report.
Computers have allowed us to multitask, as well. For example, I can send emails, shop, write this column and listen to my favorite O’Jays tune – without even leaving my comfy chair. Fabulous, right? This one device helps me keep my Superwoman Cape intact. According to the report, 192 million people in the U.S., use home/work PCs or laptops. I don’t know what I would do without my laptop, ya’ll. My life is stored on it and it’s got to be with me at all times. In the U.S., 94 domains; 2,905 pages; 830 Facebook pages are viewed per person per month online. A whopping 97 percent of U.S. PC/laptop users access social media and 4 in 5 internet viewers visit social networks and blogs.
So, there you have it. If you are seeking ways to simplify your life this year, you should (if you have not already) invest in multiple devices and gadgets. Trust me, they are your friends and are here to make your lives just a little bit easier.
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com