Facebook is at the center of major scandals at the moment, from the Frances Haugen leak through the Facebook Files and back to the assault on Capitol Hill, for which they are implying that the company is partially responsible. To all this is added the article of the Atlantic which raises an analytical technical question, the average age of access to the social network.
Atlantic is an all-round information monthly, with a left-wing liberal matrix, and so far everything is clear, but before explaining what has been said and rattling off the data, we need to clarify and contextualize a little, this is because the data itself could be misinterpreted and lead to the conclusion that Atlantic wants, but bypassing a problem that is continually being concealed.
The literacy of young people in america
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the United States, about 34% of students are below the basic reading level in fourth grade. Another 31% is below the proficient reading level. About 27% of the eighth grade students it is below the basic reading level, according to NCES. Another 39% is below the proficient reading level.
Illiteracy is a major factor in teen high school graduation. According to ProLiteracy, one in six high school students, or approximately 1.2 million teenagers, drop out each year. According to Measure of America, approximately 4.5 million young adults (ages 16 to 24) are “disconnected”, meaning that they don’t go to school or work.
These individuals often do not have a high school diploma or GED. Students who are behind when they start kindergarten make up the majority of school dropouts. These students have less than a 12 percent chance of attending college, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation.
I know reading these data gives the impression that we are not talking about one of the first world economic powers, but about some remote third world country. These statistics are provided by government agencies, but ignored by the vast majority of American and foreign citizens, and if you think this data is somehow related to American immigrants from poor countries, well you are wrong. Only 35% of the total are immigrants.
This situation has existed for a long time and has dragged on, leading to 36 million adults not having skills in reading, writing and basic levels of mathematics, above the third grade. This is a more than alarming picture, and it has little to do with the influence of social media, but it gives us a very clear picture of the management of state literacy, namely the total disengagement by the US government.
Facebook and the American illiterates
Now we can go back to the article from Atlantic on Facebook, or Boomerbook as they say, or as Helen Lewis says in her article, which we remember is a British journalist who calls herself a feminist, but who is more famous than anything else. for being destroyed in an interview for GQ, by none other than the greatest living psychoanalyst, Jordan Peterson. Lewis is nothing more than a sensationalist with various problems, the most evident being the lack of basic analytical skills, and rattles off real data as if they were confetti:
- 5 million teenagers log into Facebook every day
- 22 million teenagers access Instagram instead
- young people see Facebook as a place where adults debate politics and grandparents post vacation photos
- 65-year-olds are the most active in sharing fake news links
- young people think Facebook is for old people and don’t want to have anything to do with it
and concludes with a “welcome instagram and TikTok”, a celebration of two social networks notoriously almost devoid of intellectual content, where mainly the culture of ego and appearance reigns supreme, with some sporadic social message, hidden in ballets and memes. The triumph of aberrant ignorance, applauded by Lewis who has been splashing around for years to increase the catchment area for the sale of his books.
What is the dark omen of the abandonment of young people from Facebook? A fact not released by Lewis is that a research from 2017 highlighted the problem, the lack of literacy led to the phenomenon of fake news, and the consequent general idea that Facebook was not a safe place, especially for young people. So are the other social networks because it is not possible to share news and discuss it?
The answer is catastrophic, and it is absolutely NO, if not worse. The development of critical thinking is necessary for growth and to improve deductive and cognitive analytical skills, especially to elaborate the concept of defense and conflict in adolescents. A society devoid of generational conflicts, and of intellectual and political clashes is a time bomb. Too many rights and social measures have also made the school learning process useless or superficial.
Jordan Peterson has several times expressed concern about the lack of accountability, especially towards young people, of this society that is absurdly worried not to offend anyone’s sensitivity, with an excess of zeal that cannot be compared to the past, but which is leading to something. I add monstrous, the inability of young people to defend themselves in the future.
The conflict for better or for worse, which up to now has taken place on Facebook or Twitter, between Trolls and instigators, has not been a bad thing, but a school to practice thinking and logic, and to hear young people consider “the politics is something for old people “, it’s really worrying, because if they don’t care about their rights now, when will they? When is it right to start the generational conflict to improve society?
Our parents, our grandparents, did not have Facebook, and they had to physically demonstrate in the streets to exercise their rights, and the paper information was manipulated to incredible levels (this has not changed), but it was extremely difficult to find a group of people to discuss and put topics on the plate. Facebook has, albeit indirectly, helped to converge ideas, bad or good, in the same place, to facilitate intellectual conflict.
Are you a regular on Instagram and TikTok? Just open them to understand that the NCES statistics are much more impactful and obscure, than fake news and a social for boomers, and there is no solution or the possibility for the trend to reverse, young people don’t want conflict.
“No straight road has ever created a skilled driver”