Suckers for Irrelevancy

Great Wall of China

That is how one researcher describes this generation. How about this fact? More than ever, 16 year olds are choosing NOT to go get their driver’s licenses. (I waited in line on my birthday and then spent the rest of the day cruising around instead of going to class). And nationally, this generation’s creativity scores are at the lowest point in history.

Why? According to author Maggie Jackson, it is the influence of technology on this generation. With all the technology bombarding this generation, they have lost the ability to prioritize, the time to daydream/create, and they care more about their virtual presence rather than their physical presence (hence the driver’s license phenomenon).

So what do we do as parents? For me it starts with modeling the way. For decades, science and technology were about pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Today, it is about putting boundaries back up to protect our time and relationships. It is important to remember in today’s technological world that availability does not mean necessity. Much of what I want my kids to possess, like wisdom, values and character, are not downloadable. And I don’t know about you, but for me, this is an area where I have to lead my household.

Until next time…


Note: Maggie Jackson is the author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age. Excerpts from the above piece are from the author’s book and recent lecture.

About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→