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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bill O'Reilly on Internet Addiction

I just watched this. The 8:00 o'clock O'Reilly is on right now.

An interesting discussion at the clip. I took my youngest son to the doctor today and I was on mobile Twitter on my iPhone while waiting for the nurse to come into the examination room. After she came in and started updating my son's information, asking me some questions, my wife texted me with a reminder about the doctor appointment. I was holding my phone and started to reply to my wife. I'm in the doctor's room and my wife telling me the appointment's not until later. Huh? I start writing my wife back and then stopped. The nurse was still asking me questions. I apologized and put my phone away and concentrated on what was going on in real time.

Now, I don't use the phone very much so that was strange. On the other hand I'm on the laptop all day, while I'm having coffee in the morning, while I'm watching the afternoon news shows on CNN and Fox News, and later in the evening if I'm watching a game. I'll usually be blogging and tweeting through all these things. I'm just connected all the time. It's some kind of addiction. I wouldn't be happy if I couldn't go online and do all the things I do. And I wouldn't be able to work and teach effectively. It's just part of what I do.

But there's a time and place for it. And especially for young people, children, teenagers, and college students, people who grew up on the technology and is not a part of their lives but is their lives, I think it's creating a dangerous rewiring of human consciousness. As I mentioned the other day, I rarely see young people readings books. When I was young I always had a book. I never went somewhere without a book. If someone saw me and I wasn't holding a novel or something they'd say, "Hey, where's you book?" Nowadays, what students have read --- at least what I find from my students when I ask what they're reading --- is what they've been required to read in school, often some great literature. But I come across few students who are independently rich in reading skills, who read widely unprompted. The culture has changed, and this problem with Internet addiction, along with the larger issue of entire lives built around this social media, has led to a deterioration of social skills, literacy, and who knows what else. The Daily Mail reports today that young boys sext girls because their personal development has been completely arrested --- they don't know how to talk to girls even if they wanted to.

As people aways say, with all things, moderation is key.

In any case, to the video:

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