Monday, July 28, 2008

The Brain-Eating Internet?

In this very thought-provoking article, World Magazine columnist Janie B. Cheaney discusses how modern technology -- specifically the Internet -- seems to be decimating attention spans and reading ability, especially among the young.

I think she's on to something. I already get chided from time to time because my writing can a) be too lengthy, b) use vocabulary at too high a level, or c), over-estimate the intelligence and knowledge of my audience. Indeed, journalistic standards used to tell us to write toward the lowest common denominator or eighth-grade level. Today, that standard has supposedly dropped to sixth-grade level.

I am strongly tempted to resist this trend, even though I am writing on the Internet. I refuse to believe my audience is that stupid. And if you are, there are plenty of resources available to improve yourselves.

Regardless, Ms. Cheaney sounds a worthy warning to parents. Regain control of your households and limit the kids time on computers, video games and television programs. They might squall at first, but they'll thank you later.

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