21 November 2010

Growing up digital, wired for distraction

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Growing up digital
Matt Richtel reflects in a long New York Times article on the impact of growing up digital. The constant stream of stimuli offered by new technology, he says, poses a profound new challenge to focusing and learning.

“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.

Researchers say the lure of these technologies, while it affects adults too, is particularly powerful for young people. The risk, they say, is that developing brains can become more easily habituated than adult brains to constantly switching tasks — and less able to sustain attention.”

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    Experts suggest that half of a child’s computer time should be educational and that multitasking while studying should be limited.

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