…Bruce Feiler follows the trend in this past Sunday’s NY Times:

A few years ago, I was having drinks one night with Clifford Nass, a restlessly creative communication professor at Stanford University who had a reputation for out-of-the box thinking. Dr. Nass told me about research he was doing that suggested young people were spending so much time looking into screens that they were losing the ability to read nonverbal communications and learn other skills necessary for one-on-one interactions.

The data about technology use…is staggering. The Kaiser Family Foundation puts media use among 8- to 18-year-olds at more than 7.5 hours a day. A study released this month by the Pew Research Center showed that a quarter of teenagers are online “almost constantly.” Among 12- to 17-year-olds, texting has become the primary means of communication, outstripping direct human contact. Common Sense Media found that 72 percent of children age 8 and under had used a mobile device. These figures include a third of children under age 2.

Patricia M. Greenfield, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles…told me that … in the more than four decades she has been examining young people and technology, she has seen a rapid escalation in disturbing habits. “It used to be we went into communities every 20 years looking for change,” she said. “Now, I can see changes even between my 14-year-old grandson and my 8-year-old grandson.”

– excerpted from Hey, Kids, Look At Me When We’re Talking, by Bruce Feiler


You can Google it…or maybe not…

[h/t to this isn’t happiness for the lead in and illustrator Trevor Spaulding for the New Yorker cartoon…]