Warp Speed Ahead
“Human beings have always had a capacity to attend to several things at once,” reports a Time Magazine cover story (subscription or day pass required). But “the phenomenon has reached a kind of warp speed in the era of Web-enabled computers.”
According to one study, a whopping 82 percent of kids are online by the seventh grade. The Kaiser Family Foundation discovered last year that “media multitasking” had kids packing 8.5 hours of media watching into a mere 6.5 hours a day.
How is all this affecting teens?
For one, Time reports, teens have become especially adept at synthesizing and manipulating information, particularly visual data and images. But they have less tolerance for ambiguity, and little mental downtime to relax and reflect, which have some social scientists concerned.