The Dumbest Generation?

The Dumbest Generation: How The Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans And Jeopardizes Our Future (Or Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30) is a 2008 book by English professor Mark Bauerlain. In this book, Bauerlain addresses the issue of this particular generation’s dependency on technology and lack of interest in current events, politics, history and other such things that in the opinion of Bauerlain, actually matter.

Bauerlain feels that “the intellectual future of the United States looks dim.” And that “social life is a powerful temptation and most teenagers feel the pain of missing out.” This is not the first time the ‘fear of missing out’ phenomenon has been spoken about. Many psychologists have spoken about the large amount of teenagers afflicted by this.

But what Bauerlain is implying is that this intense immersion into technology, the need for knowledge immediately and the need for instant gratification has made the turn of the century generation the dumbest generation that has ever been seen. Many people, particular those in the education field definitely agree with Bauerlain’s dumbest generation theory.

Last week a professor at the University of Tampa spoke about Bauerlain’s idea during a speech about narcissism. He agreed with the idea and went on to say that this need for instant gratification and this disconnection with reality and intellect has led to the dumbing down of the youth. He and other professors present admitted to dumbing down classes to facilitate this problem.

On the other spectrum, some students who are apart of this ‘dumbest generation’ disagree with this idea. UT freshman Amy Mitchell is one of those students. “We might have some problems detaching ourselves from the technological side of things but I honestly don’t think we’re the dumbest generation.” she says.

“If anything our connection and integration with technology has made us more efficient. We get things done faster, we can access information within seconds. We are the efficient generation, not the dumbest one.” she concluded. According to Amy, she’s quite sure most of her peers feel this way also.

By Candice Bryan

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