I continue to think about the notion that “As Technology Advances, Deep Reading Suffers” that Nicholas Carr explores in his June 20, 2010, article in the San Francisco Chronicle (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/06/20/INL91DU44K.DTL
You see, according to recent studies, the average American spends more than eight hours a day peering at a screen, but only 20 minutes reading books and other printed material.
Carr points out that “reading from a screen is very different from reading from a book. A book provides a shield against distraction, allowing us to focus our entire attention on an author’s narrative or argument.”
As we all know, reading from a screen is very different indeed. Ads, flash, links and the like compete for our attention. Reading becomes difficult, and “the best our overloaded brains can do is skim and scan.”
I bemoan the loss of deep reading at the same time I confess that I, too, mainly “skim and scan.”
But not entirely. I do read a print (not just digital) newspaper every day, and several magazines a month. I read the occasional business book and, even more occasionally, the page-tuning novel.
But mainly I’m fixated at the screen. In a few years will I lose the ability to concentrate enough to read a full book? Enjoy a good novel?
I hope not, and I hereby resolve to exercise my “deep-reading” muscles on a regular basis.
You can find more articles about communication at my website: www.CommunicationsPlus.net.