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The Three Biggest Myths About Distracted Youth

by Cathy Davidson

Whenever I lecture on the science of attention, I hear the same litany of fears from parents and grandparents worried about the distracted state of those born after 1990.  Pundits have made an industry of telling us how the Internet has made youth distracted, how their switched-on life is destroying their brain.

Nonsense. There is no convincing experimental evidence that the act of texting or surfing the Internet hurts young people, not on a neurological level or even a behavioral one.  But rather than trot out the research using ECGs or measuring REMs to refute these hyperbolic claims, we can use simple, common sense observation to dispel the three most common myths about the brains of youth today.

Myth #1:  Young People Don’t/Can’t Remember Anything Anymore.

Myth #2:  Young People Can’t Read Anything Long.

Myth #3:  Young People’s Multitasking Causes Accidents.

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Cathy N. Davidson

Cathy N. Davidson

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