Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the Internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts.
Many of the experts surveyed by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Internet Project said the effects of hyperconnectivity and the always-on lifestyles of young people will be mostly positive between now and 2020. But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as “fast-twitch wiring.”
The conventionalist in me reacts with disapproval for the drawbacks listed in the second paragraph above. Upon reflection, however, it seems that technology change, well, changes things and we can’t expect there to be only benefits. There are drawbacks to hyper-connectivity to the internet, but I honestly don’t think I would give it up for a second.