Well… further to my previous post, the BBC reports that in a recent survey of 500 teachers half of those who took part said children’s “obsession” with social networking was affecting their ability to concentrate in class. One in four said they believed children with the poorest grades in school were those who did the most online social networking.
I wonder, is Social Networking principally the cause or a symptom of a more distracted society. Competition for our attention is immense – we have more channels to watch on TV, there’s more advertising, most of us have mobile phones, we shop more, we live in more socially fractured homes and generally live life at a more accelerated pace than previous generations. Social networking is just one part of this whirlwind of diverse activity, this multiplexed existence and although I feel sure it plays a contributory part in our lack of focus or concentration I think it’s just one aspect of a bigger picture.
What fascinates me is that when we run a Prayer Space in school, one of the most popular activities is the ‘quiet tent’ – a place where students are invited to relax and be still. Some come back repeatedly at break times and lunchtimes. Some are reluctant to leave. The experience of peace and stillness seems almost to overwhelm them, to catch them by surprise.