I used to be an avid book reader. There was no book in my possession that wasn’t read already once, twice, maybe even three times. Now I have books that I haven’t read or even glanced at since I bought them from the bookstore. I find myself struggling to read as much as I used too. Reading a 300 page novel is like running a marathon for me now.
I find it extremely hard to focus after the first chapter. I might even just idly stare at the wall, bust often I find myself getting distracted by texts, social media alerts, and other stuff. I just can’t focus as much as did before the internet was such a huge part of my life. In Nicholas Carr’s article, Is Google Making Us Stupid, he really made a point about how not only Google, but the internet and the computer itself has changed the way we think and analyze the material that we see every day.
We constantly go online and check our emails, messages, Facebook accounts, etc. and we do so at an extremely fast pace. I know when I’m on the bus to school, I see the kids around me on their mobile devices on Facebook just scrolling through their newsfeed. I don’t even think they completely read an entire status if it’s more than a sentence long. I am completely guilty of this. I don’t even bother reading statuses that require me to read more than three lines. It’s just too long.
The problem with that is that we are taking these new habits and ways of absorbing information into our learning environments, like school, and we just skim or partially read articles or pages of chapter we were assigned instead. And this is just not good. As mentioned in Carr’s article it is important for us to deeply engage in our reading assignments or reading in general. We need to exercise that part of our brains, it’s good for us and if we continue to just be “mere decoders of information” as Carr put it, then we leave that part of our brain un-tapped and it is something we need to train ourselves, just like your memory. As we all know, the older we get the harder it is to learn things that would have been better learned at an earlier age and improved upon as time goes by.