How many of you recall being told to study in complete silence?
As you think about your children or grandchildren studying today, does a smile pass across your face? Are you picturing them sitting on a bed, earbuds in, listening to TikTok, Instagram, or some other social media platform as a video and talking head fills a phone screen, and a television blares the latest reality show in the background? Let's not forget the open math book lying in front of them. Yet, they seem to get their homework done.
Here is one more question. Is that scene a blessing or a curse?
For those of us who grew up before cell phones and social media, stereos (before that, Hi-Fi) played music that our parents made us turn off while studying. You need to be able to focus on your homework without distractions. Does that sentence still send a shiver down your spine?
Well, most of us turned out fine. We became focused. We graduated high school, went to college, or went to work. We stayed in those jobs for a long time. That's not the reality of today. The world today has a much faster pace. A pace that requires multitasking and splitting our attention in multiple directions.
If the present generation is required to master constantly shifting their attention, shouldn't they develop that skill at a young age?
As more assembly line jobs automate and technology advances, today's employees seek higher skilled employment. That means leaving behind the focus of doing one task repeatedly. Instead, employees must split their attention between multiple tasks and develop the ability to concentrate equally on each one while being productive.
So, I'll ask it again. Is the scene above a blessing or a curse?
The adage, Out with the old and in with the new, may be key to understanding what is going on here. We, the dinosaurs of focusing on one target may have outlived our stay. The new king is constant change and multitasking and it seems to happen on a little screen all at once.
Perhaps playing computer games, watching thirty-second clips, and texting with virtual friends make up the asteroid that will once again remove dinosaurs. I'd say, "Stay tuned," but that seems a bit passe. Do you think if dinosaurs had little screens, they might have survived?
"Writing is the flow of life through words on a page. We all have this talent to share." Luca DiMatteo
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