Are Our TV-watching Habits Changing?

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Did you know that a 2022 survey from media regulator Ofcom allegedly uncovered a new – and widening – generation gap? It’s in our TV-watching habits, apparently.

The survey showed that 18-24 year olds watched an average of just 53 minutes of traditional broadcast television per day. This is a staggering seven times less than those aged 65 and over.

Ofcom attribute this difference to younger people doing their viewing through streaming services, like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Couple this with a pre-pandemic survey that dramatically declared “the end of watching TV as a family” thanks to the rise in children watching television on phones and laptops, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the gogglebox is on its way out.

But not so fast.

It turns out time spent indoors during the pandemic actually increased the time families spent watching TV together.

And older people? They’re using streaming services more than ever.

Now a YouGov poll has revealed that almost two-thirds of 18-24 year olds in the UK watch television with the subtitles on – potentially making it even easier than before for families to get together for their favourite shows.

What does this mean?

Well, reports of the death of TV have been greatly exaggerated.

(And, thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can find a survey to back up almost any point you want to make.)

It seems unlikely we’ll be leaving our televisions out for the dustman anytime soon. It’s more likely (and less surprising) that we’re adapting to a new landscape; a new way of consuming media.

Young people may be adapting quicker, but that’s not to say everyone else is being left behind.

Unless you count the time they spend on TikTok.

They’re leaving everyone behind there, and that’s just fine.

For more from the “Friend” team, click here.