The speed of adoption of technology surpasses the speed of reflection and, even more, the capacity of response in terms of legislation and education. We are currently living in an era that has been called the era of distraction due to the constant stimulation of digital technology. In a recent interview, physicist and meditation master Alan Wallace said:
Attention in the public sphere is in the process of being returned. I have seen levels of attention of society recede throughout my life. The advertising and entertainment industry demands the attention of people in increasingly shorter spaces. 5 seconds here, 15 seconds there, 20 seconds there. Entertainment has accelerated, the music intensifies, brain pierces you with intensity, and video games crush your brain with stimulation.
Lesley Podesta of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation writes in the Huffington Post about the importance of understanding that it is necessary to make a digital education for society, especially children. One of the universal skills we must develop in our era is “the ability to think beyond the distraction of technology and learn to heal [information] to maximize opportunities and reduce risks.” In our time, we approach Aldous Huxley’s dystopia, drown ourselves in “a sea of irrelevance”, insignificant information, without curation or context, that is taking over our attention and our ability to think critically.
Podesta emphasizes that in our era, as it had been for centuries, the border between the information to which children and adults have access has been re-dissolved. The problem now is that adults generate innumerable junk information that can be quite harmful: pornography, violence, images of crimes, wars, terrorism, etc. That is why, in the digital era, “the rights of children to live free from violence and exploitation require better thought, better control and a better response from the industry that allows for better regulation and encourages greater investment in literacy digital”. And the digital space in which they move is not free from violence and exploitation and, without proper guidance, children can live online experiences that violate their growth.
The key is to develop this digital literacy in parents and children to build positive habits of access to information, so that children become “capable and compassionate online, learn to go beyond distractions and know How to get involved and how to avoid the distractions of their phones. ” This digital literacy consists in both the ability to search for relevant information online and in the construction of positive habits that have to do with avoiding the excessive use of entertainment devices (restricting time and schedules), as well as the development of care And concentration with offline tools such as reading or meditation.