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The Indispensable Medium

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Kids are notorious multitaskers—yakking on the phone, watching TV, surfing the Web and listening to the radio all at once. But which medium would they cling to if told they could only use one? A new Knowledge Networks/Statistical Research poll has the answer. Among girls age 8-17, a plurality (31 percent) chose the phone as the one they couldn't live without. The Internet was a respectable second (28 percent), with TV and radio tied for third (17 percent apiece). Among boys in this age group, the Internet took the most votes (38 percent), followed closely by TV (34 percent). Telephone and radio lagged far behind (12 percent apiece). To the not-very-great extent the survey reveals a digital divide between boys and girls, we might as easily say it reflects an analog divide: Boys just aren't as interested as girls in some of the other technologies, most notably telephones.