The objective of this chapter is to return to the title of the book “Attention Today” and consider, among the many factors that influence the attentive processes and which were analyzed in chapters 1, 2 and 3, those relating to the media. In the first chapter, we looked at the environment and the state of the user (e.g., his goals, intentions, motivation) and how these effects may interact. This knowledge will provide a better understanding of how, by acting on the user environment, devices may be direct or disrupt users’ attention. Our daily life is characterized by almost total immersion in the media world. The pace of new media in our society is changing the habits of families. Today’s children grow and update at a speed unthinkable until a few years ago. Email, internet, television, iPad, smartphones, social networks have changed the habits of life and interaction of families. Digital natives know how to use tablets and smartphones at the age of two. Parents and children, even if they live in the same environment, are sometimes like non-communicating monads. We are so busy processing information that comes from all directions that we are losing the ability to think in-depth. In this chapter, both traditional media and new media and their influence on the attentive processes will be taken into consideration. Logan (2010) with the term “new media” refers to those digital media that are interactive, which incorporate two-way communication and involve forms of computing. The old media are telephone, radio, and television. New media include Blogs, Forums, Chat Rooms, Websites, News Groups, News Letters, and podcasts. Millions of people access the Web and the Web every day, and each of them has the ability to consult billions of pages already available. Since the new media differ from media such as TV and radio because they involve two-way communication, Logan defines these last passive and “new media” as interactive individual access. In this chapter, we will introduce hints concerning epidemiological studies on the use of new media, on the influence of the media on distraction, on the influence of television, handheld devices, and pc on attention. In this chapter, the following topics will be discussed: 1. The epidemiological outline 2. Distraction and the world of new media 3. Television and attention 4. Pc and attention 5. Video games and attention 6. Handheld devices and attention
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