chapter  3
20 Pages


WithDaniel G. McDonald, John W. Dimmick

The use of time in leisure has been a concern in the social science literature throughout the past century (e.g., Gulick, 1909; Sorokin & Berger, 1939). A primary concern among these studies has been the time spent in mass and interpersonal communication (Edwards, 1915; Graney & Graney, 1974; Gulick, 1909; Hudson, 1951; Kline, 1971; Sweetser, 1955). Historically, new media innovations have reduced time spent with other media. For example, time displacement on traveling performances was recorded for movies and radio (Edwards, 1915; Gulick, 1909; Hurley, 1937; Jones, 1922) whereas movies also displaced time spent with books (Herzog, 1961; Hurley, 1937). From vaudeville through motion pictures, comic books, radio, television, video games, and the Internet, the 20th century witnessed an inexorable march of new media, communication, and entertainment forces, each usurping time from other activities, and each generating some degree of concern over the volume of time being spent on the new medium and from where that time was coming. Although there is some evidence that new media may displace sleeping, eating, social activities, or schoolwork (Cunningham & Walsh, 1958; Hurley, 1937; Swanson & Jones, 1951; Sweetser, 1955), the bulk of the literature suggests that new communications media should have their greatest displacement effects on older communications media because of their functional similarity (Katz, Gurevitch, & Haas, 1973; Ogburn, 1933).