Thursday, June 2, 2011

Line Betweem Dependence and Addiction?

Some interesting and not terribly surprising statistics were revealed in this article, summarizing a recent study:

Digital Dependence of Today's College Students Revealed in New Study from CourseSmart™

Findings show college students feel helpless without technology—checking their devices at least every 10 minutes and foregoing face time for Facebook.

There are so many alarmist reports out about youth's dire need for technology (don't you love the dark image above, found by the image search "facebook addiction"...there are some doozies!). Clearly many youth feel totally dependent on it now. When does that become addiction? Were we saying the same thing about teens and telephones in the 1980s?

I often find myself of two minds. One one hand, I know how good I feel after I'm unplugged for a weekend, as I was a few days ago to go camping. Time slows down. Conversations happen. Exercise occurs naturally. I even read a few books. On the other hand, I believe technology is just how our species is evolving, no good or bad about it, it simply is. That is very easy to see M.T. Anderson's Feed becoming a reality all too soon. What do you think? Are teens ready to be plugged in full time? And what are the risks we face with this step?

1 comment:

Nelsdar said...

Interesting post, thank you. I just read Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer and one point was the possibility we may one day be able to substitute our very memories with technology. I agree with you there's positive and negative with any change of this sort. I don't mind if younger people mind meld electronically as long as they continue to appreciate life experience, the trust that comes with real interpersonal interaction, and the need to sythesize this infinite data with real grounded values and analytical thought. I do have my fears about all that.