Digitally Addicted

NYT: Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

This article is perfect for my final project topic – being digitally distracted. The article discusses how kids choose their computers and other digital devices over books and their school work. Procrastinating with technology which is leading to a drop in grades. Matt Richtel gives an example of turning to the internet to get a overview of a book instead of actually reading the book.

On YouTube, “you can get a whole story in six minutes,” he explains. “A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.” Students have always faced distractions and time-wasters. But computers and cellphones, and the constant stream of stimuli they offer, pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning.

Obviously technology can be a great distraction (I find myself being distracted by it as well when I should be working) but it can also help students. The article shows an example of a student at Woodside High School in California; the teachers recognize this student as one of the brightest and he is technologically savvy – helping parents with navigating their digital tools, sharing numerous links and videos via Facebook and recently found an interest & skill in film making, but his grades are not so hot.

Last semester, his grade point average was 2.3 after a D-plus in English and an F in Algebra II. He got an A in film critique. “He’s a kid caught between two worlds,” said Mr. Reilly — one that is virtual and one with real-life demands.

The article also gives examples of different students to show how technology can hinder a students preformace. Another example was a female student who sent 27,000 text messages in a month (holy crap that a lot of text messages!). This student often will start homework and become distracted by her phone and end up forgetting to finish her homework.

Students have a choice whether to procrastinate on their computers or finish their school work. Parents at a particular point should monitor their children but as our technology advances if they don’t stay on top of current conditions they will fall behind. When these students get to college they are on their own – they need to learn time management or they won’t succeed.

This is my point for the project. Technology is great – I love it. But there needs to be a line drawn, remember you live in a tangible world – don’t forget it! Yes, I agree, technology can make life easier and faster (instant gratification) – I love that I can have all my emails on my phone, update my Facebook status or upload a picture with a couple taps of my finger. But we are getting lost in it. As I’ve walked around campus I’ve noticed that we’ve become digital drones, walking from class to class with our heads down totally focused on our phones or other digital devices. Don’t forget our palpable world – enjoy it!

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One response to “Digitally Addicted

  1. So true – it is about balance. We teach kids to do other things in moderation, and why would technology be any different? Great post.

    Miss Bits
    http://parentingbits.wordpress.com

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