Generational Differences in Technology

A topic we have often discussed in class is generational differences in opinion on technology. One thing that often comes to mind when I think about this topic is how technology creates distractions for students today and whether or not we are more distracted and have lower attention spans in general because of technology. I’ve experienced both high school teachers and college professors telling students how technology is to blame for how easily distracted we can be. My opinion on this issue, however, is different from theirs.

I do believe that having my phone or laptop out in class distracts me. I will find myself mindlessly scrolling and not paying attention to class. However, in my experience, if I notice myself doing this too much I will put them away. When I do so, I find that I still do not pay attention to the class. If I am uninterested, even if I don’t have technology out, I will zone out and daydream or doodle in my notebook. Though technology is definitely a distraction, I do not believe it is the sole cause for our lack of desire to pay attention. In generations where technology was not as accessible or present in the classroom, students would still daydream, pass notes, or fall asleep.

I do often find that I become anxious if I forget my phone at home and sometimes check for notifications even if I am not expecting anything important. This is something that my parents have said they do not experience themselves, because they are used to not having a phone at all times. This is one generational difference that I do believe to be true around technology.

With new developments in technology, it is inevitable that behaviors surrounding these developments will be different in those who grow up with it and those who grew up without it.

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