1-4 | The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)

Book Review

The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)

Mark Bauerlein
New York: Tarcher/Penguin Books, 2008. Bibliography. 264 pp. $24.95 cloth. ISBN: 9781585426393

by Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr.

First Paragraph:

There has always been a tradition of distrusting the younger generation, of feeling that somehow they are not as hardworking, as engaged, or as knowledgeable as their elders. Mark Bauerlein's The Dumbest Generation has as its thesis that the current generation is, in fact, less accomplished and skilled than their predecessors and that this has occurred as a result of their pervasive use of new media in the form of computers, the Internet, cell phones, blogging, and Facebook. According to him, "Instead of opening young American minds to the stores of civilization and science and politics, technology has contracted the horizon to themselves and the social scene around them" (p. 10). The new technologies have made it possible for America's youth to isolate themselves in a cocoon—of teen imagery, songs, hot gossip, games, and youth-to-youth communications—that is instantaneous, limited, and isolating.