The Official Dumbest Generation Is…

And an even dumber one may soon follow. Worried? Maybe you should be.

According to Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30), digital distractions are whittling away at the intellect of today’s youth.

According to professor Bauerlein, things like texting, instant messaging, watching YouTube videos and playing with iPod apps is to blame. Sound familiar?

Today’s kids are either glued to their cell phones, computer screens, video games or TV. And these digital distractions, so says the professor, could jeopardize their success in the workplace and even cause them to be socially incompetent as adults.

Now, you might dismiss this information as whining from an old, cranky English professor with nothing better to write or complain about, but professor Bauerlein is a well-respected professor, and Emory University is one of the world’s leading research universities. We have to ask though, what really classifies dumb?

The fact is, our precious generation Y cares less about knowing information and more about knowing where to find information. Just about any question you can think of, you can find the answer to online. Our kids literally have answers at their fingertips! So why would they be the dumbest?

Skeptical, we cannot ignore some of the alarming statistics Bauerlein points out. Did you know that the average American youth reads no more than eight minutes a day? And according to Nielsen Mobile, they send an average of 2,272 text messages every month! Those are pretty scary numbers.

Professor Bauerlein says the problem with kids on the internet is that they’re not searching for the right kind of information. Instead of reading up on their history or English homework, they’re checking out the latest videos and looking for mindless games.

So what do you think? Are our kids really doomed to be the dumbest? Or is professor Bauerlein a bit too extreme?

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