On an average day, how do young people use the vast amount of media available to them? How are their entertainment habits evolving as technology plays a greater and greater role in everyday life?

In 2009, MTV Knowing Youth conducted a study, “Beta Life,” to understand the impact of technology on global youth’s media and entertainment consumption. Earlier this year, MTV Knowing Youth commissioned another study to see what’s changed since 2009—and to identify what is most important to young people right now. Here are key findings from this new project, called “Beta Life Reloaded”: Young people are gorging on content and communications, averaging 3 hours of media activity for every hour they’re awake.

  • They average 47 hours of media activity in an average Saturday (exceeding 24 hours because they consume multiple forms at once)
  • In 2009, they averaged 23 hours a day–which means their content consumption doubled in 5 years
  • For every hour they’re awake, they consume 3 hours of media and entertainment (15 hours awake, 47 hours of media)

They send an average of 69 digital messages per day, making communications are a staple of their daily diets.

  • The messages are mostly text-based, much of them on free message apps
  • They have an average of 10 social media and message apps (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp), each of which fulfills different communication needs
  • Developing countries are home to the most prolific communicators (top 3: India, Brazil, and Mexico)

Screen time is their top form of entertainment, partly because they use multiple devices at once.

  • Young people average 31 hours of screen time in an average Saturday, with 10 of those hours going to TV and video
  • They spend the most time surfing the internet and watching TV
  • Much of their media use is “concurrent consumption” (consuming multiple forms of media at the same time, like web-surfing while watching TV or texting while on Facebook)
  • Second screening (using another device while watching TV) enables them to consume more, with chatting with friends the main activity and mobile phones the main device

Despite all their digital activity, young people really value real-world entertainment.

  • They spend almost half of their time at home on an average Saturday
  • They’re spending more time at home and with others, and less time by themselves
  • Hanging out with friends is the most entertaining activity, even though it occupies less of their time
  • 7 in 10 say they don’t get to hang out with friends as much as they’d like
  • They place a high value on “offline” activities they do less frequently, like spending time with friends, pleasure reading, playing sports, going to movies, and shopping

They also value privacy, in the form of “me time” and possibly in their communication activity as well.

  • Young people are spending more time doing stuff alone before going to bed—up 30% in 5 years (57 minutes in 2009, 74 minutes in 2014)
  • TV is their main activity before going to sleep, followed closely by the internet and social media—suggesting that they’re going online while watching TV
  • They might be moving away from oversharing online, with 6 in 10 disagreeing that they try to be first to share stuff on social media and nearly 40% saying they’re using Facebook less and Twitter, WhatsApp, SnapChat, and Vine more

Though an endless amount of content is available, they focus on a few trusted resources.

  • 8 in 10 say they rely on a few trusted sources to get the latest updates
  • On average, they turn to 8 favorite websites, 7 music artists, 6 TV channels, 6 brands, 5 stores, 4 magazines, and 4 radio stations
  • Their “inner circle” resources have grown in number since 2009 (adding 1 to 2 more favorites in each area)