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Technology Overrunning Our Lives

By maddistalder Jan 12, 2014 929 Words
With technology in our lives, the division between the parallels between assistance and hindrance grows further, as generations develop. In “Growing Up Digital, Wired For Distraction,” several claims are generalized, and supported as each leads up to an idea. This idea is that as the generations grow, the “programming” of their brains direct them towards “failure” in a sense, educationally, and projects the inability to focus, and advert attention to one particular action.

The generalizations that surround this idea, that the notions that “students have always faced distractions and time-wasters”, but technology has invoked the generalization that the current generation, as well as the one to come is “less able to sustain attention.” This generalization consequently true, as it may be, is based off of how we (students) direct our attention and time. According to Michael Rich, an associate professor at Harvard Medial School and executive director of the Center on Media and Child Health in Boston, states his opinion that “Their (students/younger generation) brains are rewarded not for staying on task but for jumping to the next thing.” This statement correlates with the generalization that the younger (my) generation is less able to sustain attention, because we are simply always on a demanding and crunched schedule, as we quickly rather watch a two minute video, than read a two hundred page book, as Kurt Vonnegut is a prime example. He stated that by watching synopsis over a book, “you can get a whole story in six minutes.. and that a book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.” His idea, suggests that our brains in fact rewards us with finishing one thing and jumping onto the next one, because with technology we see the “what if” side of our lives. As we complete tasks, we direct ourselves towards this “what if” I can do this… or that, pushing us to either compromise and or ignore our assignments, to do that more pleasing side of things. But ultimately in reality, I disagree with Michael Rich’s statement of ”Their brains are rewarded not for staying on task but for jumping to the next thing,” simply because it is apparent in every generation, old and young because of the technological impact in our lives as we meticulously schedule every moment from the time we wake up till we return to our beds.

Another similar generalization is that our generation has the inability to focus. As several interviewed parents state, of which Vishal’s mother, states “he lacks the self-control to favor schoolwork over the computer. Following up with a corresponding statement, “He (Vishal) was not always this way. As a child Vishal, had a tendency to procrastinate, but nothing like this. Something changed him.” As this claim points to how technology inadvertently directs our generation into procrastination, but in reality procrastination is an issue of not desiring to accomplish or complete a task until it is forced upon us, meaning that we HAVE to finish it. However, Vishal states that technology wasn’t the source of his procrastination or lack of focus, it was because “ I realized there were choices…homework wasn’t the only option.” In his defense Vishal, has chosen to utilize his time on the computer editing, cropping, and carrying out his business, by doing the thing he loves, instead of directing his attention towards homework, but he is directing his attention into his hobby. In retrospect, the older generation sees the younger generation “failing” educationally, and lashing the negative illusions towards technology, but in reality, we, the younger generation, are not “lacking self control” but favor other thing than school work, because at the end of the day, we will motivate ourselves to do something whether it is for the money, grade, experience, love, and even pleasure, not because we lack self-control.

Lastly another generalization that points towards the idea of the negative introspect of technology, is that by what we do now, affects our future as we look towards either immediate gratification or investing in the future. For example, Sam Crocker, Vishal’s closest friend, who has straight A’s but lower SAT scores than he would like, blames the Internet’s distractions for his inability to finish either of his two summer reading book,“ following with the conclusion that he “ know I can read a book, but then I’m up and checking Facebook,” he says, adding: “Facebook is amazing because it feels like you’re doing something and you’re not doing anything. It’s the absence of doing something, but you feel gratified anyway,” following with the statement that “My attention span is getting worse.” With the failure to make the SAT scores Sam desired, prevents him from being accepted or being granted a vast amount of scholarships Sam will have bled for. Because of his inability to read and or study, he chose immediate gratification instead of investing in the future, for a moment of pleasure instead of a brief time of boredom.

With the generalizations being the foundation for the idea that, as the generations grow, the “programming” of their brains direct us towards “failure” in a sense, educationally, and projects the inability to focus, and advert attention to one particular action is held true to an extent. By the choices we make, and how we decide to spend our time, we will either choose to use technology to benefit ourselves in the given situation, or we will harm our futures by appeasing our boredom for a moment in time. It all depends on how we use it.

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