Reading – we do it every day. In almost every aspect of our lives and often take it for granted. Reading is essential for human communication and increasing knowledge. However, because reading is so important even a small change can have a significantly large impact on our modern society. We are currently in a midst of a cultural revolution. In which the printed word is being transformed by the digital.
The impact of technology on our individual lives and culture has been a general issue of our time. In her essay “In the Beginning Was the Word,” Christine Rosen analyzes the effects of the image-dominated modern society and its influence on our daily lives, as well our comprehension skills of complex literature acquired through the years of human history. In “Three Tweets for the Web” Tyler Cowan analyzes the effects of a new cultural medium of our society and its effectiveness on multitasking as well as increasing intellectual satisfaction of our highly literal modern society. Rosen and Cowan both present the evidence that our society is in a midst of a culture transition, and printed world is being a less central part of our lives. This cultural transition affects our daily activities in many ways; such as, stimulating distractions, duration of attention span and our efficiency at multitasking.
Rosen, senior editor if New Atlantis, on her essay published in Wilson Quarterly in autumn 2009 “In the Beginning Was the Word,” points out how digital technology, especially in communication and entertainment, affects negatively on our lives socially and cognitively. She believes that although technology might appear as sign of our progress as humans, it is withdrawing us from the core literature. Rosen explains th...
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...wan believes, one of the best things about our digital lives is the ease with which we can share ideas with others. It is now possible for readers to connect with each other worldwide, as well as recommend and share their opinions about a particular piece of literature. Our need to engage in “deep reading” will not go away, as Rosen believes. The act of how we read may evolve as it has been evolving since beginning of mankind. How we read and write has evolved from cave walls to stone tablets to paper to keyboards. The digital world will not change what we read, but how we read. Because the experience of reading, the love of narrative, and cravings for story-telling is instilled into our DNA. Reading is a basic human need, it is evolutionary. Even though our means of attaining information or story telling may change, the act of reading is literally forever-lasting.
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