Playing Wii or Reading a Book?


Distraction is one of the media effects in today’s world. Having to choose between reading a book, being hook-up to Facebook is not a hard choice. We must likely chose to be connected on Facebook. Today, reading a book takes me hours. I have lost the habit of reading because of the Internet. I prefer to be downloading the latest songs, or checking clothing web pages rather than getting myself illustrated with a good book. This is what the article Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction is related to. How teenagers and young adults are getting distracted by the new media.

My little sister named Liz, who is currently cursing her seventh grade, has been struggling with that. According to my mom, Liz takes about four hours just to read a book chapter of 40 pages. Instead, it takes her less than 30 min. to pass a whole world of Mario Cars on Wii. My little sister is actually failing her Algebra curse. Distractions like Facebook, You Tube, and Wii games are the main distractions that she is facing. But my little sister is not the only one; Vishal Singh is facing them too. He prefers to play video games 10 hours a week, and make videos. According to his professors, Singh is an 17 year-old bright kid who is caught between two worlds.

Vishal Singh

The question is why kids like Liz and Vishal are having a hard time focusing at school? According to Michael Rich, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the Center on Media and Child Health in Boston, kids are getting distracted because their brains are getting fulfilled with several tasks, instead of keeping one at the time. Kids are jumping from one thing to the next one. He says the effects could be:

“The worry is we’re raising a generation of kids in front of screens whose brains are going to be wired differently.”


Professors have started to notice the fact that students sometimes no longer pay attention to lectures because they are not part of their interests anymore. They have started to integrate technology to lectures as part of their new way of teaching in order to catch back students attentions. A true example would be from the principal, David Reilly, who is trying to find a way to gain attention back from students. He says:

“I am trying to take back their attention from their BlackBerrys and video games, to a degree; I’m using technology to do it.”  

I noticed the same trend in my Fundamental of the Internet class. At the beginning of the semester, my professor used to give his class only by lecturing on Power Point slides. There were students who in the middle of the class stood up and left. Now, that my professor has started to do a more interactive class by using the class computers; I have noticed a difference in the way my classmates pay attention. They seem more interested with the class material.

Because we are growing up in this technology era, it is inevitable to get distracted by media. We should use media to find new interactive ways of learning like using e-books and i-pads. Reading is a habit we should never let go.