Technology is destroying our social fabric: The Van Maren Show

Mark Bauerlein, the other of The Dumbest Generation, speaks with Van Maren about the role technology is playing in the deterioration of society.
Wed Jun 5, 2019 - 2:44 pm EST
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June 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) - Ten years ago Mark Bauerlein warned against the dangers of technology in his book,The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30). The thesis of his work was the rise of technology and the elimination of reading books has made our culture stupid.

Bauerlein is currently an English professor at Emory University and the senior editor of First Things, a conservative, religious academic journal. In this episode of The Van Maren Show, Van Maren and Bauerlein discuss The Dumbest Generation, the worsening effects of technology and the deterioration of society it is causing.


One of the biggest issues Van Maren and Bauerlein speak about is the extension of adolescence supported by technology. With the advent of technology, personal devices, and headphones allows adolescents to stay submerged in their own universes, removing youth from adult discourse and responsibilities. Instead of adults teaching teenagers how to be adults, young people are learning more from each other. This is allowing for the adolescent mentality last into people’s 20s and 30s.

In addition, the loss of a common language and an increase in illiteracy are creating greater divides in our culture. The decrease in reading has removed the common literary culture that used to be universal and unifying. We see the perpetuation of adolescence and the impact of the loss of a literary culture as especially detrimental to men. Women are getting higher grades and more advanced degrees than men at an alarming rate. The impact of technology and the loss of truth and meaning that it brings is on track to spell disaster.

The fundamental social fabric is being changed by the shift in the adult male mentality, from one of growing up and being responsible in order to provide for his wife and kids, to one of distance and instant gratification through easy access to video games, which replace the need to make real life accomplishments, and Internet pornography.

There are, however, some glimmers of hope in the youth cultures engagement with sources of truth and meaning. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more difficult to find these resources, but when our youth find them, they flock to them. A great example of this is Jordan Peterson and the popularity of lengthy podcasts, and sometimes 3-hour lectures.

Listen now to hear more about the ills of technology and how we can change the tide.

You can get Dr. Bauerlein’s book, The Dumbest Generation, here. You can also sign up for a subscription to The First Things, here.

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe to various channels, visit our webpage here.

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