The question was do teens have short attention spans? Why do they have these short attention spans? Many of us responded with similar answers–we don’t have enough time; we have too much to do; the technological age has pushed us to do many tasks in a short amount of time. Today, I witnessed firsthand teenagers inability to stay attentive in a formal setting.
I traveled to Penn State York today to participate in Model UN. In the morning, each of us was divided into many different groups from the Iraqis to the Pakistanis. The early discussion was pointed and focused; students offered realistic options to the situation. But, as the day wore on, these realistic options turned from focused compromises and negotiations to the persistent question of “when are we eating lunch again?”. Soon even the most avid debaters succumbed to boredom with the task at hand and joined in on the jovial banter and lunch countdown.
It was quite clear that sitting twenty teenagers in one room and giving them one main problem (solve the violence of the Middle East) for four hours was not very productive. Attention spans were short, and appetites quickly took precedence.