Growing Up Digital; Wired for Distractions.
It is globally accepted that the Internet has become a milestone in almost every walk of life, enabling us to get instant and free interaction with the external dynamic world. Nevertheless, the great impact of the Internet on the youth remains a moot question. Growing up in the digital information era, “the Net Generation” has a crazy passion for the new social media communicating platforms–cell phones, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The concerned parents are beset with worries that their kids’ digital immersion has obviously led to their habitual distraction, which will directly make an adverse effect on their learning. ? ?Vishal Singh, the hero of this article, is surely an exact example of the “Digital Natives”, who are really lured by the digital realm. He’s totally indulged in making music digital videos and talented in filmmaking, seemingly, his future career. However, it is a pity that he “lacks the self-control”, which has led to his distractions in learning.
It’s greatly touching how his parents won’t “put roadblocks in his way” and are willing to help him to achieve his dream of filmmaking. Additionally, deeply admirable, David Reilly, principal of Woodside High School where Vishal is studying, who sympathizes with his students and is generous enough to build a multimedia center to encourage them to display their digital wit. Markus Dworak, the Harvard neuroscientist who led the brainwave pattern experiments on 12 to 14 year olds, came up with some eye-opening results. When you look at vocabulary and look at huge stimulus after that, your brain has to decide which information to store,” he said. “Your brain might favor the emotionally stimulating information over the vocabulary. ” By this he means that emotionally charged stimuli would always conquer lesser information. Matt Richtel uses examples of students who are growing up with digital technologies and, as they acknowledge themselves, the technology is taking them away from studying. Many parents buy a laptop to their offspring for education. In reality, it is a tool for entertainment and source of distraction.
Sean’s statement that he “sometimes wishes that his parents would force him to quit playing and study” is quite shocking. In addition, many teachers struggle in the battle with iPods, text messaging, You-Tube or games to win the interest of the young generation. The attitude of Mr. Reilly – “meet them on their turf” as he teaches an audio class to students who are ”at risk of tuning out school”. He is not saying that Vishal would get to filmmaking based purely on his portfolio, but he encourages him to master his academic skills too: “If you’re going to write scripts, you’ve got to read. ? Perhaps, Dr. Rich’s speech “Reclaiming Childhood from the river of Electronic Screens” will inspire a movement. When it comes to digital distraction, it’s up to the young individual to determine if it’s becoming a problem. Indicators like low grade point, isolation, and weight gain are just some and they are there for a reason. If these don’t provide enough motivation to improve focus and prioritize then there might be more underlying, deep seated, issues that need to be dealt with and should involve parents.