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Contrary to the popular belief that children are spending more time than ever using electronic media, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that time spent with electronic devices – including TV – has remained virtually unchanged since 1995.

ACMA’s Media and Communications in Australian Families 2007 survey found that electronic media and communications take up around half of young people’s total discretionary time – the same proportion as in 1995.

“Children themselves demonstrate a balanced attitude to the use of electronic media and communications,” ACMA noted. “When given a preference, young people often prefer to do non-media activities and socialise with other people.”

ACMA found that nine out of 10 families have Internet access in the home, up from just seven percent of families in 1995. Children now spend an additional 12 minutes per day on electronic games, but this is almost offset by 10 minutes per day less television viewing.

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