Digital Kids can't warding off ennui

Some results from a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll are worth reading:

a large majority of the 12- to 24-year-olds surveyed are bored with their entertainment choices some or most of the time, and a substantial minority think that even in a kajillion-channel universe, they don't have nearly enough options. (...) A signature trait of those surveyed is a predilection for doing several things at the same time (...) Young people multi-task, they say, because they are too busy to do only one thing at a time, because they need something to do between commercials or, for most (including 64% of girls 12 to 14), it's boring to do just one thing at a time. (...) Throughout Hollywood, the race is on to develop entertainment that captures the attention of this distracted generation (...) Despite the technological advances that are changing the way entertainment is delivered and consumed, good, old-fashioned word of mouth — with a tech twist, thanks to text messaging — continues to be one of the most important factors influencing the choices that young people make. (...) Yet a surprisingly high number of teenage boys (58%) and even more teenage girls (74%) said they were offended by material they felt disrespected women and girls.

The part about continuous partial attention is interesting too:

"It's like being in a candy store," said Gloria Mark, a UC Irvine professor who studies interactions. between people and computers. "You aren't going to ignore the candy; you are going to try it all."

Mark, who has studied multi-tasking by 25- to 35-year-old high-tech workers, believes that the group is not much different from 12- to 24- year-olds, since both groups grew up with similar technology. She frets that "a pattern of constant interruption" is creating a generation that will not know how to lose itself in thought.

"You know the concept of 'flow'?" asked Mark, referring to an idea popularized by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi about the benefits of complete absorption and focus. "You have to focus and concentrate, and this state of flow only comes when you do that Maybe it's an old-fogy notion, but it's an eternal one: Anyone with great ideas is going to have to spend some time deep in thought."