Our Online Habits Affect How We Read

As I read Rosenwald’s Washington Post article, I definitely could relate my own experiences to his findings. Since I spend so much time online, whether it’s completing course assignments or browsing social media, I also find it difficult to dedicate my complete attention when reading physical books. My brain automatically wants to skim the pages, so I have to force my mind to slow down and read word for word. I find it easier to do this if I’m in a quiet place away from distractions, especially technology.

I also wasn’t surprised that when tested, people performed better on paper than on a screen. As Dr. Sasmor discussed when he spoke to our class, reading and writing on physical paper forces your mind to slow down and truly comprehend your words. I think part of the issue is also that technology makes it easier for us to multi-task and complete tasks faster. The downside is that we lose our ability to focus on one task at a time and do it well.

In general, it’s interesting to see how our brains adapt to changes in technology, especially when it comes to reading. However, despite the benefits of technology, I also do fear that we’ll lose our ability to read texts well. It already seems like we’ve generally lost the appreciation for it in our culture. I hope that people continue to value the importance of reading stories. After all, stories are what make us human.

Source: Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

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