This is an interesting article on the response to recent media reports on the negative impact of screens on young people and how the art of conversation is been lost.
Reading the article I was reminded of this cartoon from XKCD about the pace of modern life.
There are lots of gems in the “cartoon” including this one from 1890
Conversation is said to be a lost art … Good talk presupposes leisure, both for preparation and enjoyment. The age of leisure is dead, and the art of conversation is dying.
Frank Leslie’s popular Monthly, Volume 29 1890
and this comment from 1905
The art of conversation is almost a lost one. People talk as they ride bicycles–at a rush–without pausing to consider their surroundings … what has been generally understood as cultured society is rapidly deteriorating into baseness and voluntary ignorance. The profession of letters is so little understood, and so far from being seriously appreciated, that … Newspapers are full, not of thoughtful honestly expressed public opinion on the affairs of the nation, but of vapid personalities interesting to none save gossips and busy bodies.
Marie Corelli, Free opinions, freely expressed 1905
People love to blame the so called problems of society on something, easier to pick the new shiny things, or the new way of doing things, rather than wondering if this is all normal and that we are all different.
When I read articles about how technology or change is negative I am reminded that change is constant and negative comments about change never change.
Should we be fearful of screens? Depends if we want to be scared.
2 thoughts on “Scared of the Screens”
You are right, James, it is always the new shiny things that get the blame. Back in the 1960s when I was growing up it was television, and in the 1940s it was the radio that was deemed to be damaging children. As Rabbi Baumel says in Woody Allen’s film ‘Radio Days’: “Radio… It’s all right once in a while. Otherwise it tends to induce bad values, false dreams, lazy habits. Listening to these stories of foolishness and violence… this is no way for a boy to grow up.”
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
People are afraid of change and blame recent changes for any bad luck that they face. Technology should be embraced not feared.