The Digital Divide is a collection of essays and excerpts edited by Mark Bauerlein. It doesnít take sides in the debate over our new digital culture, and clearly shows thatís thereís a difference between Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. The Digital Natives embrace this technology, but it looks like theyíre loosing something in the process. With all this connectedness, with kids sending 300 instant messages a day, the first thing theyíll loose is solitude. Time for reflection, time for deep-thinking. They say weíre reading more in this digital age, but are we? Weíve learned to skim the surface, pick out facts and move on. Weíve bought into the idea of personal happiness, that no one should be alone, that weíre all connected. Itís only that way if you buy in.
Another interesting fact that I ran across is our brains are designed for an interrupt-driven world, which is a survival technique. We needed to see the panther in the trees before he jumped us. And because of this, we think weíre good at multi-tasking. But weíre not. Studyís find that interruptions take time to get back on task, especially for complex ones. Itís estimated that 2.1 hours a day is wasted by interruptions, at the cost of $588 billion a year.
The book also shows the other side as well, some of the benefits of the digital technology. But I guess I would be called a Luddite. I see it stripping away our culture and dumbing down our kids. But make a choice for yourself. Itís a good read.
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