Whatever one makes of the current claims about the effects of our supposed Age of Distraction, it should be evident that their cause is unlikely to be the workings of new technology. The experience of the past indicates that most of the troubles attributed to the internet and digital technology have served as topics of concern in previous centuries. Contributions on the current challenges facing readers recycle an age-old mantra that there is too much choice, too much information and too much change. It is far more likely that our current predicament is not the availability of powerful and exciting new technologies of communication, but an uncertainty about what to communicate.

Age of Distraction: Why the idea digital devices are destroying our concentration and memory is a myth | Frank Furedi. Furedi does not offer any evidence for what he belives is the “far more likely” explanation for “our current predicament.” He just says that his view is more likely. He does not explain what he thinks “our current predicament” is. He disbelieves the studies suggesting that human concentration and memory are affected by the use of digital devices, but he does not say why he disbelieves them: he offers no reasons for doubting their conclusions. He notes that rhetorically similar comments have been made about other technologies in the past, but does not inquire whether those earlier comments were right or wrong, nor does he explain how critiques of some past technologies are relevant to the assessment of other technologies today. He has written a good many words here without showing any curosity about the truth, and without providing evidence to support a single one of his claims. Perhaps he was too distracted to do the job properly.