The price of Technology

I am quoting from a recent article:

“We have become fantastic multitaskers, well-suited for tasks like text-messaging seven people simultaneously or trading stock. Meanwhile, our attention spans are evaporating. Studies have shown that younger generations are getting worse at eye contact and detecting nonverbal cues. Are we unwittingly pushing ourselves down the autism spectrum?

The average American now watches more than 1,800 hours a year of television, yet 80% have not read a book in the last year. It’s beautiful irony that we created a culture that likes watching authors be interviewed on TV, yet doesn’t like reading the books they write.

Maybe deep thinking no longer matters. Maybe we are a culture that prefers to be entertained rather than informed. Maybe everything that is important can be said in 140 characters. Or, maybe we should stop and think about whether we want to live in the world we dreamed up.

Consider this: 42% of college graduates will never read another book for the rest of their lives.

As publishers, this will transform our businesses — and as a society, harm it irreparably.”

It’s kind of scary to see the changing behavior of  young people growing up with “always-on” devices and the Facebook culture. Gone are the simple pleasures of reading a book, writing your thoughts in long hand, spending time with friends and family without constantly staring at your iPhone. Someone called this the CPA phenomenon – Continuous Partial Attention.

I also heard that suddenly there is overflow of information between long-lost friends, that can get tiresome. There is some charm in being “unavailable” for some time, then the meeting becomes that much more interesting.

My hope is that this is cyclic and we will be back to old-fashioned habits like reading books and forcing “disconnected” times for our sanity. Current euphoria of “easy connectivity” and social networking will adjust itself  from over-indulgence. There is a special charm in reading printed words on paper over staring at a LCD screen for hours.

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2 responses to “The price of Technology

  1. Can you please provide the sources for your data such as “80% [of Americans] have not read a book in the last year.”

  2. Please check the article referenced in the first line. I was quoting their research.

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