Friday, October 03, 2003

Lie #2: Teens Have Frustratingly Short Attention Spans

The problem is not that teens these days have short attention spans, instead it is the way they have been trained to receive information. "Teenagers' brains have literally been trained to think on many levels, about many things, shooting at them from many sources, all at once."("Four Big Fat Lies", Group, May/June 1997) Many have mistakenly attributed their apparent boredom to shallowness. On the contrary they are bored because teens today are "fast﷓paced info﷓eaters." In school and Sunday school classes they sometimes tune out because the information is coming at them to slowly. They learn differently than other generations.
This is a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that they can take in all this information, from various sources and are able to process it. They can take in so much and still come out with meaning to it. For instance they have access to information from a variety of sources; the T.V., the radio, CD/tape player and the computer. To people older than they are, the message is garbled by the speed and variety of sources. It is a curse because so much of life takes time and patience to understand. For example, the spiritual journey that we as Christians travel is not an information super highway. It is, instead, a slow process of transformation. Their ability to process information from various sources helps them survive in an ever changing culture but may hinder them in the slower aspects of living. As parents, mentors and ministers we need to present the Gospel to them in the way they learn without losing the truth to speed.
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