We, as a human race, are at a crossroads in our experience. We have begun to push the printed word out and invite digital script in. In Christine Rosen’s opinion, the human mind has begun to dissolve into one with rampant hyperactivity and ADD. Truthfully, I believe she makes a solid point. Humans have begun to spend less time devoting their attention to endless pages of diction and more time on enjoying the simplicity of an essentialized story. Simply put, in our fast paced, consumer world, we don’t have time for all that reading and imagining. We need results. We need them now.
One area I feel deserves a little more attention, however, is the fact that a digital generation has the capability to adapt to the changing story presentation. Though not in the traditional sense, we are still reading and coming to our own conclusions about the topic being presented. Just because the story is short, doesn’t mean imagination is absent. Imagination comes in many forms and it doesn’t necessarily take 500 pages of parchment to achieve that result. I mean think about it, who really has time to read an entire New York Times everyday. Doesn’t it make a little more sense to simply have a news aggregator give you stories of interest to you? If I wanted to read a Harry Potter novel, would it really make a difference if it was on paper or via an IPad? Either way you look at it, the story is in the words and often times those words are backed up with pictures and video to give an even deeper understanding of what is going on. I think this is where the evolution is going to take place. In understanding how to cipher through garbage and train the mind to focus on what is being read, watched or seen.
This is our generation. We know it and we are a part of it everyday. For those of us who want to read instead of watch, we will go buy a book (or rent it on Kindle). But to think that digitization of the written word will have catastrophic implications is a little overly dramatic.There will always be a warm spot in our hearts for the tactile feeling of a book between our hands of course, but the knowledge being absorbed doesn’t change. And it is for this reason that I’m confident yes! Evolution will keep us right on track. Our brains will do what they have always done and adapt to our world. That is, as long as the body underneath makes the effort.