The Dumbest Generation

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#1

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#2
I'm under 30. Guess I'm dumb! :D

Fact of the matter is that every technology has its down sides, and the Internet is no different. So what, people like sharing information about what is essentially unimportant nothingness ("I went to the store and they were out of lima beans!"), but that's nothing new. Just that in the past, you'd have to go and actually talk to someone about that in person or call them up on the phone, and sometimes they'd tell you to be quiet instead of having to listen. Now you can just say it to nobody in particular, which is what one would have done in a journal or diary, also nothing new.

As far as limited attention spans, whose fault is that? My parents forbade video games in the household outside of handheld units (Gameboy Color, Advance, DS) which were early on only allowed to be used extensively on long roadtrips. They had strict limits on TV (one hour per day outside of PBS educational content, which was also limited) and the computer was a DOS model with no modem until 1998, when limits were enforced on the new Windows 98 machine as well. My parents had me reading from before I can remember and read to me regularly, as well as taking me places and doing activities with me. By the time the limits were removed during my teens and I got more independent, I already had the skills and attention span necessary to do well in school without outside influence. If young people don't have this self-discipline, in the vast majority of cases, I would tend to blame parents who in the past would have stuck their kids in front of the TV for hours on end and now stick them in front of a computer or cell phone to accomplish the same end. I would say it's very misguided to blame the technology.

Why not point out how much more knowledge is available as a result of the Internet? I wouldn't know half of what I know about broadcasting if not for the Internet. I most certainly would not be able to call up completely up-to-date information on stations from memory, I likely would not have had access to FCC rules and petitions, and I would not have met all the awesome people I now know on the various message boards who have given me lots of valuable first-hand knowledge of how a TV station operates. But it's not just broadcasting; sometimes I just float around Wikipedia reading random articles just because it's interesting to learn about languages or technology or animal species or whatever.

Now, let's not remark on how I wasted 20 minutes typing up this message instead of doing homework for tomorrow... :eek:

- Trip
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Trip,

Your most interesting point is your discussion of parents in the whole thing. Kids don't buy tech products, parents do. And it is from parents that kids learn responsibilty and self-control. Your generation didn't raise its self, it was my generation and those older than me that did. And, we have to ask why my generation raised the kids we are raising? "The sins of the fathers are visited onto the children to the third and fourth generation."

I could share my personnal experiences as an outsider step-parent, where everyone else in the situation, parents and children alike, could only be described as spoiled brats, and the absolute destruction that causes. In that situtation the problem could be easily traced back one more generation to the grandparents. Or, in my ex-wifes case, to the great grandmother who everyone knew murdered her husband, but no one could prove it.

Dan
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
Trip,

Your most interesting point is your discussion of parents in the whole thing. Kids don't buy tech products, parents do. And it is from parents that kids learn responsibilty and self-control. ...
Dan
BINGO! Before "high-tech" arrived, Sesame Street was far too often the family babysitter. I predate that show by years, but as a child I remember watching Sea Hunt and Highway Patrol and being kicked out of the house by my parents. These days, I wonder how many kids haven't experienced skinned knees and stubbed toes? :Cry:

Trip said he reads random articles on Wikipedia: as a child, on rainy days I read from The Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia. It wasn't that long ago "a paperless society" was predicted and books would be obsolete. Tell that to Amazon dot com!

Jim
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
There is some question of the effect that Sesame Street has had on attention spans since it is cut up into 2-3 minute minisodes. Now Youtube that has a 10 minute maximum on free user generated content. And, what about the effect of the 60, 30, and 15 second ad. Hmmm
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#7
"We were fighting something that you can't hold back. It's how they communicate with their peers."

You buy the gadgets your kids use. You pay the bills. You are responsible for there use, and for teaching your kids self-control, good money management skills, etc. A quote like that just shows a lack of parenting skills. Parents should be in control of their kids, not the other way around.
 
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