High Tech, Low Touch

Three recent and unrelated studies point to a common culprit in today’s less-civil society. Item. Brain experts find that sources of rapid-fire news updates and instant social interaction, such as Twitter and texting, tend to blunt people’s sense of morality. Info comes “too fast for the ‘moral compass’ of the brain to process,” they say. Item. The leader of a British teachers’ union says children are losing the ability to concentrate in school because they’re acclimated to loud, flashy and fast “sound bite TV.” Item. A new study shows that one in 10 children who play video games present behavioral markers of addiction. Perhaps it’s time for a new countercultural slogan: Turn off, tune out and drop in.