How is technology affecting the younger generations'
perceptions of morality and the world?
The advent of the internet signaled a revolutionary shift for society, in which participation in massive amounts of information was easily and rapidly accessible to any connected country. This digital revolution gave rise to monolithic digital communities that dominate the web and strongly influence the globe; Twitter helped Belarusian youth organize flash-protests against their authoritarian government in 2006, while Wikileaks continues to serve as a public international clearing-house for whistle-blowers. But despite these resounding stories of success, concern is spreading that there is an underlying problem with our digitally enhanced society – especially in the western world. Widespread debate has been sparked by the digital revolution over modern technology's influence on younger generations, with experts combating each other over whether the internet is dulling or expanding young minds. This debate is not restricted to education, but extends to cover issues of morality and perspectives. Education issues are tied to lacking cultural awareness and political activism, but world-views are a separate and altogether more severe problem for the next generation. As the internet becomes more embedded in our lives, youth are retreating into the isolation of private social bubbles and turning reality into a remote abstract concept. Apathetic, amoral and disconnected youth in the western world are spreading to replace the active socially charged older generations.
Thanks to a society that's approaching the utopia (or dystopia) of ubiquitous computing, people can be connected 24/7/365. Ask an average teenager what their digital arsenal consists of, and almost all of them have at least list a multi-media phone, their own personal TV, and a computer. These teenagers are the undisputed leaders of persistent connectivity; any spare moment is spent attached to a media portal of some kind. Unfortunately most of them do not pursue activities of self-improvement, ignoring the availability of vast storehouses of information in favor of personal entertainment and the drivel of their media idols. Supporters of the digital revolution as a replacement for traditional education insist technology allows students to fulfill all their thirst for knowledge. While technology does theoretically allow that to happen, the sad reality is students use new technology to continue the repetitive and dull social interactions with the same small peer-group. Instead of learning about the world and acting to change it, they publish complaints about it on social networking sites to their small group of peers and then go try to catchup on the latest entertainment news.
“Visiting new places” used to mean traveling to foreign lands and experiencing new cultures, but has now come to mean clicking through new experiences. Although proponents of e-learning attempt to use this to support wider...