The Dumbest Generation

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Did you know that according to informationweek.com, 65% of consumers are spending more time with their computers than they are with their significant other.(Gardner) I find this extremely sad because it shows that technology is really taking over lots of peoples lives, but it also shows how dedicated some people are to their jobs. Mark Bauerlein who is the author of the Dumbest Generation, thinks that our generation (from 1980's to now) is stupid because of the excessive amount of time we spend in front of a computer or television screen. I am here to argue that our generation is far from the dumbest generation for several reasons. Spending time watching a screen can be beneficial in many ways which I will be showing you. Mark Bauerlein is confusing laziness with relaxation, and he is generalizing and assuming that everyone fits in to all of the surveys that he is presenting in his books.
Spending time in front of a screen can be beneficial in several ways. Even if people are playing video games that aren't considered educational, they still have a lot of benefits. According to Mark Griffiths, playing video games improves hand-eye co-ordination and raises player's self-esteem. It also may be useful in equalizing individual differences in spatial skill performance. (Griffiths) According to Media Awareness Network video games help decision making and help to make people think on their feet. Video games create team players, hone social skills, and enhance creativity. It enables people to share cultural experiences with others and gives family time to spend together. Parents can use the TV as motivation to get kids to read also. (Media Awareness)

Mark Bauerlein is confused with the difference between laziness and relaxation. If you just had a long hard day at work or school and decided to relax and watch TV, there shouldn't be anything wrong with that. Even if the show isn't educational it should be ok to sit back and watch some TV or play some video games. If you don't have that time to relax for just a little while after work or school then people would go crazy. If you work for hours and hours you deserve a few hours or more to sit back and watch a screen if you want to. Mark Bauerlein is not taking the amount of time that people work into consideration. I understand if someone did not do anything all day, sat around, watched TV or played video then that is a big waste of time and they would be considered lazy, but it doesn't make us any dumber. He is mistaking the deserved relaxation as laziness.

Everyone is different when it comes to how much people read, watch television, or play video games. I think that Mark Bauerlein is generalizing too much. Surveys show that lots of kids like reading more. A survey says that 55% of kids preferred watching television to reading. (Sainsbury) This is a pretty balanced amount of kids that like to watch TV instead of reading. I think that Mark Bauerlein needs to broaden his research a little more because it seems that he is only looking at very big cities. From what I see at my school there seems to be a pretty good balance between kids who like to read and kids who do not. In the Dumbest Generation, Mark Bauerlin is making it sound like everyone in our generation only watches TV and reads only when forced to through school. Everyone is different in all ways including their reading habits.

I believe that Mark Bauerlein is very wrong to say that we are the Dumbest Generation. I would say that we aren't using our imagination as much as people used to because of all the new technology that we have, but I would not say that it is making us any dumber than previous generations. I just proved that any screen time can be educational and even if it isn't it is ok to just sit down and relax for awhile after work or school. I know that there are lots of people that sit around and just watch TV all day but that isn't everyone and I showed you that. Mark Bauerlein is generalizing way too much because I proved that there are plenty of people out there that still like to read. Overall I believe that Mark Bauerlein is wrong to say that our generation is the dumbest and I showed you why.

















Works Cited page

Gardner, David. "Technology Is Taking Over Americans' Lives." Information Week. 10 January 2007. 18 Mar 2009 .

"The Good Things About Television." Information Week. 22 January 2007. 18 Mar 2009 .

Sainsbury, Marian. "Reading Attitudes Survey." infer. 29 November 2003. 18 Mar 2009 .

Griffiths, Mark. 'The educational benefits of Video Games.' Sheu.org. 3 November 2002. 24 mar 2009
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