Delete
File image of students. SUR
Let's see if they get it
The Bottom Line opinion

Let's see if they get it

I was at an environmental forum with a group of students who were probably around 18 years old. The thing is, at one point they were asked to give their opinion on what had been discussed, and their responses left me dumbfounded, writes Ignacio Lillo

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Friday, 22 March 2024, 16:55

Compartir

Houston, we have a problem. Anyone under 40 reading this, if there is anyone under 40 reading this at all, might not know what I'm talking about.

The Apollo 13 mission might not ring a bell to them, but if they type it into ChatGPT, it'll tell them in a second. At this point, I'm not too concerned about that. What does concern me, and why I'm bringing it up here today, is the comprehension and assimilation capacity of many of our young people when it comes to simple concepts, which seems to lean towards the negative, towards regression rather than progress.

This introduction comes from a brief encounter I had at an environmental forum a few days ago, with a group of students who were probably around 18 years old, give or take. The thing is, at one point they were asked to give their opinion on what had been discussed, and their responses left me dumbfounded.

It wasn't just that they openly admitted they hadn't understood almost anything of what they had heard, with a sincerity that is commendable. But also, on what they did understand, their oral expression, their way of explaining it, seemed to me to be typical of a primary school child.

Their very brief presentations were, with few honourable exceptions, based on the most elementary dichotomy: I like it, I don't like it... Or the no less absurd: this is good, this is bad. And that's it: not the slightest analysis, nor any hint of critical thinking, arguments, logic, contribution of ideas... Nothing at all.

That left me worried, even though for me it was a one-off occasion, and I don't think it will happen again for a long time. I can't even imagine what some teachers must be going through, trying, I suppose, to instil some sense into those young brains with an unhealthy over exposure to TikTok.

In this case, my concern is almost selfish, in a double sense. First, regarding the part that concerns us journalists: after spending so many hours a day reporting, through written but increasingly audiovisual channels, I wonder what we need to do to make our messages get through; at the very least, to be understood in the most basic sense.

But the second is even more demoralising. Democracy relies on citizens having a minimal understanding of a series of political, legal, social, economic, etc., concepts. Yet, there are more and more people who are not understanding almost anything and who are easily manipulated. That is a problem, unlike the one in Houston.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios