We are raising a generation of constantly distracted chatbots and an experiment by one beleaguered teacher illustrates this in a most upsetting fashion.
A teacher in an unnamed locale teaching children of an unknown age asked all the kids in her fourth-period class to turn up the notifications on their phones and to tell her what app or source each one came from as they came in. The piece of paper she documented this one is a truly staggering illustration of what American teens and tweens are dealing with in contemporary life, and it's a wonder they're coping as well as they apparently are — i.e. they're not all in straight-jackets muttering gibberish 24-7.
New York Times reporter Katie Rosman screencapped the image from her Facebook feed, and she does not yet know any details or data points. For instance: How many kids does this represent, how long is a class period, and what grade are they in? One can assume, because Instagram and Snapchat require users to be over 13, that this is either junior high or high school.
But the story's already gone viral, prompting Android co-founder Rich Miner to tweet in response, "I worry about the smart-phone centric interrupt driven world I helped created and how it is going to impact people who grew up thinking this is just how things are."
And all this texting and calling isn't all the kids' fault!! One teacher replied to Rosman's tweet saying, "Parents have face timed their kids in the middle of my class. And you'd be surprised how many don't see that as an issue. As a high school teacher, this is insanely accurate."
Also, this guy below made a bar graph out of the hash marks, and you can see that Instagram is the most popular app, losing out in total notifications only to text messages.
Related: Op-Ed: Facebook Wouldn't Be As Big Of A Problem For The News If People Actually Clicked And Read Stories [SFist]