Is the digital age rewiring us?
It’s becoming harder to concentrate
In The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr quotes a research project at Stanford University in which cognitive tests were given to a group of “heavy media multitaskers” and a group of “relatively light” multitaskers. The heavy multitaskers were much more easily distracted by “irrelevant environmental stimuli” and less able to maintain their concentration on a particular task. On the plus side, young people today have skills their predecessors lacked. They are adept at finding and filtering information, responding to stimuli and doing fast, incisive analysis. As “digital natives” who have grown up with the internet, they are used to technological change, while “digital immigrants”, who grew up before the internet, find it hard to keep up.
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