Modern students constantly text during classes, Adams says, or watch streaming services during Zoom meetings, living in a state psychiatrists call “continuous partial attention.”
Each new school year, Jeremy Adams, a teacher in Bakersfield, Calif., gives the same lesson. When he shows pictures of celebrities like Kendall Jenner or Miley Cyrus to his students on a screen, they immediately recognize them. But faced with photos of policymakers like Mike Pence or Nancy Pelosi, the children stare blankly.
That ignorance is no joke to Adams, he writes in his new book, “Hollowed Out: A Warning About America’s Next Generation” (Regnery Publishing), out now.
“We need to brace ourselves for what lies ahead. I write this book as an alarm bell … a project born out of worry, concern and frustration.”
A National Teacher of the Year nominee, Adams frets that today’s youngsters are “barren of the behavior, values and hopes from which human beings have traditionally found higher meaning … or even simple contentment.” Adams calls them “hollowed out,” a generation living solitary lives, hyperconnected to technology but unattached from their families, churches or communities. He cites statistics showing teen depression rose 63 percent from 2007 to 2017 while teen suicide grew 56 percent. Tragically, he writes, suicide has become the second leading cause of death for the young.