The dialogue about multitasking and distraction is part of a larger battle over consciousness, and the corporate sellers of junk technology are winning that battle as they colonize the minds of younger generations. Those of us who envision a new reality that is free of corporate parasitism would do well to take note of this development. It isn’t just tv and the internet. It’s a whole consumption constellation of corporate-produced distractions that have totally captured the attention and energies of young people. The digital ghetto they live in isolates them from older generations and cultivates contempt for any reality other than the one they have been sold. Why visit with neighbors or learn to garden when texting is so much more fun and easy?
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up