What holds us back?
Posted April 17, 2014on:
It is not that I take pleasure in pointing out how the local press likes to make the worst of online trends, habits, or phenomena. It is that they do it with such regularity and without a balanced view that I have to point these things out.
A recent STonline headline reads Click. Scan. Search. Scroll: Deep reading is hit as our brain adapts to online scanning and skimming. The headlines points less to the fact that we might be adapting and more to deep reading (a newspaper perhaps?) taking a hit.
I do not know anyone who reads a newspaper from the first page to the last. I wonder how many people read an article deeply as a writer or editor might want.
Skimming is also something newspapers are designed to promote. The long columns and single line paragraphs are not accidents!
The sad thing is that our press has wide local reach and a fair share of conservative readers. These are the same readers who, whether they read deeply or skim, are not aware of alternative points of view. Alternatives published elsewhere at other papers like The internet isn’t harming our love of ‘deep reading’, it’s cultivating it.
These days we have no excuse for not being better informed. Not when the information is so readily available. It is human bias that holds us back, not the the technology.
These days we also have no excuse for ensuring our children are better educated when information is so readily available. In this case it is also fear, indifference, or inertia that holds us back.