Reality check – is panic over technology overblown?

“NEW forms of media have always caused moral panics: the printing press, newspapers, paperbacks and television were all once denounced as threats to their consumers’ brainpower and moral fiber.

So too with electronic technologies. PowerPoint, we’re told, is reducing discourse to bullet points. Search engines lower our intelligence, encouraging us to skim on the surface of knowledge rather than dive to its depths. Twitter is shrinking our attention spans.

But such panics often fail basic reality checks. When comic books were accused of turning juveniles into delinquents in the 1950s, crime was falling to record lows, just as the denunciations of video games in the 1990s coincided with the great American crime decline. The decades of television, transistor radios and rock videos were also decades in which I.Q. scores rose continuously.”

via Op-Ed Contributor – Mind Over Mass Media – NYTimes.com.

One Reply to “Reality check – is panic over technology overblown?”

  1. Just wondering, is a “moral panic” something different than a cognitive one? I’m sure we can pull up statistics to support declines as well (like divorce rate).

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