Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis?
Verified by Psychology Today
Carlos, you bring up a good point, one that actually gets batted around in the discussions about this new generation. The argument is that multitasking promotes breadth over depth. That is, the fact that teens spend only a matter of seconds on a website before clicking a link suggests that they are only getting a superficial understanding of any material that they read. Of course, we have created this world with clickable links, CNN scroll bars, instant polling, brief magazine articles, and on and on (sorry, that is a joke I guess). If you are old enough, can you recall magazines such as Life and Look and National Geographic which had just a few long stories in each issue? Do you remember the slow pace of television shows in the 1950s? Even Sesame Street has changed from its slower pace to a series of quick vignettes rather than longer segments. We have only ourselves (adults) to blame for distilling content into sound bites and short YouTube videos. It is something that I worry about and discuss with teachers when we discuss "rewiring" education. I, too, feel this when I try to read a New Yorker article and find my attention wandering halfway through and flipping ahead to see how many pages are remaining. It is a media-rich, fast-paced world that we have created. Whether it will affect our ability to think about ourselves and others in meaningful ways remains to be seen.
Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today.