Thursday, June 10, 2010

Do the Internet & Smartphones Make Parents Dumb?

The quick answer is, of course: Yes -- the Internet and smartphones make everyone dumb, especially parents.

Nicholas Carr's new book, "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains," which makes the case that "that we are sabotaging ourselves, trading away the seriousness of sustained attention for the frantic superficiality of the Internet." Carr is the author of an article that appeared in The Atlantic, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” so you would have to be dumb if you didn't realize his point of view.

I tend to agree, by the way.

Carr also writes that he understands the allure of the Internet, and succumbs to it even though he knows it's not good for him.

I tend to agree with that, too.

Meanwhile, in today's New York Times, there's an article about parents neglecting their kids because they're too busy checking email, surfing the Internet or playing with apps on their smartphones. Check out "The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In" (as its headlined online) or "RU Here, Mom?" as it was headlined in the old-fashioned print edition.

I see a connection between the book and the article, even if I didn't end up reading either all the way through (thus proving Carr's case).

Since I'm guilty of this, too, I think it's worth making a pledge to be "here" with the kids instead of constantly checking email (which too often is spam).

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