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Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It by Richard Watson

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Chapter 1The Rise of the Screenager

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”

Pablo Picasso

Observe for a minute a teenager in their natural habitat, in front of a screen. Chances are that they’re not speaking but furiously tapping a keyboard. They appear to be in a hurry and, one suspects, they aren’t fully concentrating, waiting, as they undoubtedly are, for some new bit or byte of information to flash across the screen.

Today’s teenagers are better described as “screenagers,” a term popularized by Dan Bloom to describe the act of reading on screen. They’re woken up by an alarm on a cellphone and they check the latest gossip on the same device, often before they get out of bed. They go to school or work in a vehicle that features ...

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