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Mark Bauerlein’s “Why Gen-Y Johnny Can’t Read Non-Verbal Cues,” James Bowman’s “Is Stupid Making Us Google?,” and Clive Thompson’s “On the New Literacy” each take different stances on the effect that technology has on the intelligence of our younger…
s of intelligence, they feel that overall intelligence is not being as brutally mutilated as we tend to think, while Thompson reveals a positive aspect to younger people spending so much of their time implementing technology in their lives.
In Bauerlein’s article, he points out that since most socialization is done via text messages, discussion boards, Twitter and Facebook, the current generation is unskilled in the act of reading or properly utilizing body language. Communication has become nothing more than the sharing of the written word; there is no tone of voice, pauses, posture, gesture, eye movements, or shifts in personal space. For those who were not drawn in to technology are fluent in the Silent Language, but those with their noses stuck in their cell phones or laptops are unable to read the behavior of these people. Since technology keeps people physically away from one another, there is no need to learn such skills, yet this had made our current generation socially awkward.
Bowman makes the case known that deep reading has become a dying art with the increasing use of the Internet. Prior to the Internet’s popularity, research for school assignments was done via books from the library. Students would have no choice but to thoroughly read the texts to gain an understanding of a topic. Nowadays, the younger generation “power browses,” which involves skimming a few lines of text on the Internet until they find a fact or idea that they can use for their assignment. Instead of reading for knowledge formation, this generation seeks only to retrieve information; the material goes from the Internet straight to the homework assignment, not making even a pitstop in the mind of the student.
On the other hand, Thompson’s view of technology is surprisingly optimistic. No matter how much the older generation complains about a lack of literacy in this current generation, a study undergone by Stanford University Professor Andrea Lunsford reveals that ...