The Digital Generation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
This paper will present the salient points of the article “The Digital Generation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. The author begins his discussion on the effects of the inventions and innovations in the digital front by identifying himself as a “digital immigrant”, that is, one who has been familiarized and accustomed with the use of the technology. On the contrary, he goes on further to define the “digital natives” as those who “have grown up with this technology and have never seen a world without it”.
Paul’s objective in his essay is to point out what he feels and observes as “the good, the bad and the ugly”. He considers the “good” as the benefits that result from digital technology. The “bad” are the disadvantages brought about by the advancements in technology, while the “ugly” are the serious concerns that have surfaced due to the digital age.
Other benefits which Paul affirms in his article are those brought about by the use of social networking sites. He notes how Facebook, MySpace, FaceTime, Skype and other similar avenues have helped bring families and friends connected to each other despite the geographical distance. Paul believes that these sites bring happiness to an otherwise boring world, if one lives away from his loved ones.
After admitting to the “good” side of the digital age, Paul then proceeds to report what he thinks are the “bad” effects of digital technology. He starts off by saying that there are claims stating that the advancements in technology makes people stupid because of too much time spent on texting, gaming and other social networking activities. Although Paul is not totally convinced that the new technology is to be blamed for the deterioration in spelling and writing skills, he believes that it is a contributing factor to such phenomenon. He believes that the members of the digital generation lack the qualities of becoming critical thinkers due to the availability of all types of information. To clearly illustrate his point, Paul quotes Wolf (2011) in summarizing the “bad” of digital technology, stating, “Children need both time to think and the motivation to think for themselves, to develop an expert reading brain, before the digital mode dominates their reading. The immediacy and volume of information should not be confused with true knowledge”.
Paul, in the final part of his article asserts what he believes as the “ugly” of the digital age. He opines that there has been an increase in plagiarism cases among students which is an indication of an even greater problem of not being able to think independently and critically . A more serious “ugly” that Paul attacks is the emergence of cyberbullying through comments posted on public or private information found on the Net. He frowns at the fact that cyberbullying has led to other problems such as mental derangement, depression and even suicide . In the end, Paul asserts that for him, the most serious ugly that digital technology has brought is the failure to just be quiet and ponder for a time on any idea or concept, other than being busy with the world around.
Paul, Peter V. "The Digital generation: The good, the bad, and the ugly." American Annals of the Deaf (2013): 407-411.