The New York Times recently published a wonderful article continuing the discussion of excessive texting. Being a youth in current times means everything is at your fingertips–you don’t often wait for much. Responsibilities are set aside for social networking, to the point of utter distraction. These kids are more capable of speed-texting three people at once than writing a book report! The non-stop pre-occupation with Facebook, YouTube, and texting is too delicious to resist. In the end, we have kids who are highly skilled in terms of technology but unable to focus, who consistently procrastinate, and whose communication skills stop at “OMG.”
When New York Times’ Matt Richtel interviewed 17-year-old Vishal about YouTube, Vishal said, “You can get a whole story in 6 minutes. A book takes so long. I prefer immediate gratification.” Being a teen is tough enough as it is. There have always been distractions, but the over-stimulation of being perpetually plugged in invites newer and possibly more difficult obstacles to learning and direct communication.
More and more research is suggesting we pull back and give the brain a break, or as Dr. Rick of Harvard Medical said, “Bring back boredom.” Bottom line is, if we continue this path of uber-stimulation, then we’re at risk for a future filled with adults unable to focus, set priorities, or make simple decisions.