Changing the ways we read: Is it beneficial?

If you look in a classroom today, it probably looks much different than what you would imagine five, ten or even twenty years ago looked like. Students are now attached to technology and as a result their reading habits and patterns have changed. With the implementation of daily social media outlets in our lives, reading lines printed on paper is no longer the traditional way to go. Instead, we tend to skim the writing, look for pictures, and become much unfocused when it comes to reading large amounts of texts. Our brains are now trained to use what is called a seeking system; i.e. we look for reward in things. For example, by being able to read the text message that came with a picture as well of a funny face gives us the reward of laughter. Our brain is looking for new rewards each day thus, our reading habits have changed to keep it stimulated.

While having new avenues for our brains daily seems like a good idea in theory, in context it is a much harder ideal to obtain. There is a growing reliance on social media to fuel our knowledge, and although not usually accurate it is increasingly the go to source for information happening around the world. We rely more and more on video streaming, voice control and auto correct to assist us with technology and staying in contact with those around us. By constantly relying on sources that require little to no reading, we are losing our ability to not only read correctly, but to create grammatically correct sentences as well. Another factor that has been equally effected is reading comprehension. We allow the words to be read to us but by not focusing on what we are actually studying, it is harder to have a complete understanding and comprehend what we are learning. Today’s technology is quickly allowing for traditional articles, texts, and books to be replaced by electronic devices and social media. You can find outlines, study guides and other tools online that are meant to supplement text, but in today’s world are being used instead of reading the actual text. Studies have shown that the younger students are going to be the most influenced and have the most difficulty when they are older with reading comprehension because of the amount of technology they have grown up with. They have grown up in a world where technology is the only answer, and the teaching of library books and handwriting are quickly being replaced by typing classes and Internet search how to seminars. Even on the college level you are now seeing more classes required students to know how to search online for academic journals, as well as complete and submit their assignments typed to specific standards and through the class website. There is no telling what the future holds, but with the advancement of technology, it is very possible that one day we could forget how to read and write.

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