From “A Very Long Disengagement” by Mark Bauerlein, Chronicle of Higher Education (6 January 2006):

“Last spring Nielsen Media Research reported that the average college student watches 3 hours 41 minutes of television each day. . . . Last year the National Survey of Student Engagement found that 44 percent of first-year students never discuss ideas from their readings or classes with their professors outside of class. . . . The trends are not unrelated. The more young people gather to watch TV shows, transmit e-mail and text messages, and blog and chat and surf and download, the less they attend to their regular studies. . . .

To repeat, the more time young adults devote to activities like sending e-mail messages, the less time they devote to books, the arts, politics, and their studies. Time has proved the formula. In the 1990s the gurus and cheerleaders of technology promised that the horizon of users would expand to take in a global village, and that a digital era would herald a more active, engaged, and knowledgeable citizenry, with young adults leading the way. It hasn’t happened. Instead, youth discourse has intensified, its grip on adolescence becoming even tighter, and the walls between young adults and larger realities have grown higher and thicker.”

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