As I look at the world from my aging yet maturing eyes, the children of the Rising Generation capture the focus of my attention because of the challenges they face. In today’s world we are used to getting what we want, when we want it. In this age of instant everything amidst incalculable masses of information accessible in a moment, how will they process any of it? The sorting and selection of relevant facts challenges us all under normal circumstances, but what of the future? Today we are subject to more new information in a single day that a person in the Middle Ages was exposed to in a lifetime.
It is estimated that today’s kids will spend roughly 11,000 hours as a student. Sadly, this is half as many hours as they will spend watching TV and playing on tablets. In a typical day for a typical kid, he/she will spend:
4-hours 4-minutes watching TV,
4-hours on their tablet,
2-hours 45-minutes gaming,
2-hours 30-minutes listening to music,
1-hour 35-minutes on the internet,
1-hour 15-minutes reading.
That’s only 1/16th of their day reading. Reading is where reasoning begins.
The ability to order and choose relevant facts has never been greater and the challenge isn’t going away. Without the ability to process this information these kids risk becoming a generation of “hear-say,” “folklore” sheep blindly being led by the popular media, or worse yet, some agenda-driven influence. Never before in the history of the world has there been a greater need for “independent information seekers.” We need young people who can reason for themselves, who can formulate appropriate questions, research relevant data, evaluate options and form conclusions. This skill is called reasoning, and it cannot be taken for granted.