Prefering Image to Reality

As the rise of technology is high in demand, so too is our impatience  for gathering information. Today, of course, people prefer  a 60 second news cycle over  62 condensed pages per month. The Reader’s Digest in 1922 created by De Witt Wallace and his wife, Lila, proved to be a widely successful publishing empire that shaped the American approach to reading. The magazine, in itself, was condensed versions of current articles used as a means of saving time. According to Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin in Mass Media 12/13, Artcile 1, “Reader’s Digest as an example of what was wrong with a culture that had learned to prefer image to reality, the copy to the original, the part to the whole”. Boorstin realized that the new generations of readers were turning from active readers to on-screen internet  psuedo-event readers. Psuedo-events are staged news in which our pursuit of illusion  transforms our experience, motivation, and  attractions. Basically, people are becoming less of passive viewers and more active participants in a new culture of online writing such as Facebook where people blog about their feelings and personal opinions on just about anything.

Distraction, consumerism, and attention- seeking behavior are the challenges that our screen reading culture poses compared to traditional reading. The transition from print reading to screen reading has increased reliance on an image-driven world that ultimately leads to a form of social narcissism, where people have fallen in love with their own image. The slow paced traditional reading is a gateway to better understanding what it is like to be human and, therefore, embarking on a committed long journey that reaps its rewards with full understanding. In otherwords, reading provides more meaning than beyond the information given. The great majority of people today prefer reading mainly about what we produce ourselves such as opinions and tastes and, therefore, making us better interpreters but not made us better compassionate readers.


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