A new survey by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project paints a picture of a future population that largely won’t be geared to consume news as it currently is produced. That’s not exactly the way it’s put, but draw your own conclusion:
“Young people accustomed to a diet of quick-fix information nuggets will be less likely to undertake deep, critical analysis of issues and challenging information. Shallow choices, an expectation of instant gratification, a lack of patience, are likely to be common results. One possible outcome is stagnation in innovation.”
On the bright side, it proposes the possibility of “evolving social structures (that) will create a new ‘division of labor’ that rewards those who make swift, correct decisions as they exploit new information streams and rewards the specialists who retain the skills of focused, deep thinking.” That sounds like what good journalists are geared to do, potentially putting them in the category of “new winners … in this reconfigured environment.” Let us hope.