Study Finds TV Viewers Increasingly Distracted by Web, Other Devices

Jun 16, 2011

A recent Adweek/Harris Poll shows that regardless of TV technologies such as DVR systems, Americans may not be giving their undivided attention to TV screens. According to the recent survey, while watching TV most Americans are apt to split their attention by surfing the Internet (56%), reading a book, magazine or newspaper (44%), going to a social networking site (40%) or communicating with friends through a mobile phone (37%).

The survey was conducted online between May 24 and 26, 2011 by Harris Interactive and sampled 2,309 users. Additional findings of the survey included the fact that three in ten people shop online while watching TV, fewer than one in ten use an ereader while watching TV, and only 14% of people devote their undivided attention to television while watching a program. The survey also found that younger adults are more likely than those older to surf the Internet on a computer or mobile phone, go on a social networking site, text on their mobile phone and shop online while watching TV. By contrast, oder adults are slightly more likely to read a book, magazine or newspaper, and much more likely to do nothing else.