Behind the Headlines

  • Texting Makes U Stupid

    September 26, 2011
    written by

    In response to:

    "Texting Makes U Stupid"
    NewsweekSeptember 11, 2011

    Two numbers:

    —3,339

    —<1

    The first is the average number of texts American teenagers send and receive every month. That’s more than 100 per day.

    The second number, less than one, is the number of hours per week most college freshmen read for pleasure.

    We’ve seen scary stats like this before. We’ve also heard that such trends indicate the United States is “falling behind.” True enough, as Niall Ferguson points out. But Ferguson reminds us of the “more important reason” these developments should trouble us: “children who don’t read are cut off from the civilization of their ancestors.”

    And check out Ferguson’s suggested solution (for parents, not the government): Book Camp.

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