Mocha Express
Thought provoking commentary on
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Library: Commentary

2 Is the Next Generation of Kids Being Brainwashed to Be Stupid?
Another Example of How Digital Devices Make People Stupid

April 21, 2008

In the Wall Street Journal today:
       Optimism and the Digital Age
an opinion piece on the digital age noted:

"Our digital-native children simultaneously instant message one another, listen to iPods and watch videos – while doing their homework. Scientists now suspect that this next generation may be developing a different brain structure, reflecting online activity from toddler age."

Once again, "scientists now suspect" something.
Imagine that: being able to do multiple things at the same time is a new ability!
I guess kids will be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

What a bunch of hooey.

I don't know about you, but multitasking is easy... if the tasks are simple.

Additionally, having musak in your ears while a video/TV is playing in the background to drown out other distractions is a well known technique used to help focus on something. Taking small breaks to send trivial notes to someone (who may be working on the same problem) can also be useful in being productive.

On the other hand, maybe we should be concern about:

  1. the naivety of "scientist and journalist" who hype this trash, and<
  2. the actual problem that the distractions aren't allowing focus, they are a defocus
        => Ignore the school test results that indicates that the kids aren't doing an acceptable job on their homework... because of distractions causing shallow thinking.
  3. the indoctrination of kids that "activity" on multiple things indicates "quality".

Bottom line:
Deep, skilled thinking requires a lot of focus.
Scatterbrained thinking on multiple trivial things, doesn't.

Carpe Diem: What you can envision, you can achieve!sm
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