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88% of Americans use a second screen while watching TV

ars technica – “When it comes to tech, I like to think I’m a pretty hoopy frood. I added the System Tuner UI to my Android phone’s settings. I’ve crimped my own ethernet cables. I got Wing Commander III running, back when that required the dark arts of HIMEM.SYS tweaking. What I’m trying to say is: I am with it! Except when it comes to staring at screens while staring at other screens. I just don’t suss it. But apparently 88 percent of Americans do. One of the little info-nuggets that has been ricocheting around my brain this year came from Mary Meeker’s annual “Internet Trends” report.

Meeker, a venture capitalist with Bond Capital, presented her research at the Code Conference back in June, amid the heat of the Arizona desert. Her presentation was, as usual, a massive (300+ slides!) data dump of interesting information on all things Internet, but the item that most intrigued me was right there in the lower-left corner of slide 38. According to data from Nielsen, the TV metrics company, 88 percent of Americans “use a second digital device while watching TV.” Seventy-one percent of Americans “look up content related to content they are watching,” while 41 percent of Americans are busy messaging “friends/family about content they are watching.” Can this possibly be true? And can it be good for us?…[spoiler – no!]

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