Friday, November 26, 2010

Article Response: Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

I feel that I do indeed have much in common with Vishal and the other teenagers described in the article. I often find myself distracted away from my responsibilities for hours on end even after promising myself that I would start working. After about an hour or more, I realize that I have been distracted and that I need to get back to work. Before starting, I quickly get a glass of water and tell myself that I have to start working now, but once I sit down at the computer, I become distracted again, and a vicious cycle ensues. Luckily, this does not have a negative affect on my mark because when I do focus, usually late at night when I become desperate, I work very quickly and efficiently. However, I am worried that this habit may start to have a negative affect on my marks and my life as I start having more responsibilities and duties.

When the article mentioned games, I came to realize that games do affect my sleeping patterns. After playing games, especially right before sleeping, I tend to lie around for at least 30 minutes before going to sleep and I usually think about the games I played. However, I do not think it affects my ability to retain information, because even if I do play games, as long as I get enough time to sleep, I have no problems. Whereas, if I go to bed late, and sleep even later because I played games, I might not do well on the test or quiz the following day because I am tired. I'm not sure about others, but I feel that for me, it is ultimately fatigue that effects my mental capabilities.

I agree half-heartedly to the statement by Alan Eaton  that  technology has led to a “balkanization of their focus and duration of stamina.” The reason is that though I do believe that the focus and stamina of teenagers have decreased, it is not necessarily a catastrophe. Now teenagers are able to multi-task with much more efficiency and the lack of sleep from the days in high school when they are distracted by technology can be "training" for university when they really won't have any time to sleep. As well, the skills they learn through technology, even if it is learning to just use it, can save a tremendous amount of time depending on their future career. Also, his fallacious argument comparing rock and roll with technology made me speechless at how weak the analogy is. Not only is technology so much more diverse with so much more potential, it has practical uses in technology unlike a genre of music (except to make educational songs but...).

Many are like Vishal in the sense that technology provided for them a career path that they are passionate about and can pursue, whereas without it, they would be completely lost and unhappy. Though education cannot be perfect because of the diversity of each individual, we must try to satisfy and nurture as many students as possible, and I believe technology is a large part of that. It provides to some students a passion that they cannot find in math, science, or even art. It is a whole new path in life that they can walk, and I believe education should make that path available to them. A lot of parents, teachers, and other adults think that technology will do more harm than good as many students will abuse it to play games, or use facebook; however, I feel that those students would find other ways to be just as distracted as they would be with technology. The benefits of technology outweigh the cost of it in education.

Though I don't want to admit it, I felt a connection and realization with many of the examples of teenagers given in the article. Especially for the past week or so after the surgery, I become tired very easily and just don't want to do anything. Technology such as Youtube, facebook, and games have been a way for me to avoid work. Though I have no problems doing the work I "have" to like school work, I find working on university applications and scholarships almost impossible because it is not near the deadline and there are so many sources of distraction.

Many students in the article seem to complain that they cannot control themselves when it comes to technology. Unless there is an addictive substance that physically addict you to technology (obviously there isn't) self-control is all you need to control yourself. Though some students say that technology drops their grades, I think that even without technology, the same students would still have their current grades because of another source of distraction. Ultimately, the success of a student or a person is dependent on himself or herself no matter how many excuses he or she can find.

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