When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age writes Maryanne Wolf, author of Reader, Come Home
Chantelle OliverJehu I completely agree. I am gen-x but have always preferred digital. I read so much more so much more often than I ever did before the internet. AllSee more everyone does is read. I spent a decade in university reading fast because I had to and I can read very quickly and get everything. I think this skim perhaps applies to people who are not fully literate in the digital realm and just need to work on their reading skills.
JehuIn many ways, that is exactly my case, Chantelle, but something tells me that the 'skimming' that the article is hinting at is a sort of seeminglySee more undesirable "shallowness" that seems inherent to this immaterial medium (the screen). In many ways, a physical book implied a tangible transaction, a formal commitment in space and time and mindset to a specific kind of object whose "affordances" in many ways imposed certain interactions/modes of consumption: you needed to mechanically search, to place a separator, to feel the weight, to smell its pages, context switching was costly, etc.
The screen makes all of these operations trivial, and enables many others practically impossible in a material object; but it is also true that the potential ability to do this usually creates in us the illusion that we are exhausting the possibilities of the content much in the same way that people feel "smarter" simply because they are a Google search away from knowing virtually anything.
I believe the superficial consumption of the text reflects, at least partially, the modern demand for immediate gratification and the implicit expectation that insights should emerge out of the medium and be somehow exhausted by the multiple consumption modes/viewpoints enabled by the technology as they enter our brain.
It is the dialogue with the ideas that matters, and conversations, specially the good ones, happen at their own pace and, often times, rather slowly.
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