Changing brains?

A few days ago I came across with this post: Technology and its influence on how we absorb information.

It caught my attention because we were talking about this in The Social Internet class the other day.

The post also comment one of the articles we read in class “Is Google Making us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr, mentioning that his capacity of deep reading is weakening and he believes that is because the internet or net’s style of reading.

Both post and article talk about a study from the University College London that suggests how the internet affects cognition is changing:

“It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense”.

Is it really happening? I have to say that I’m somewhat agree with that. These days, we are constantly receiving information from many sources, having our smartphones and computers with Google, Twitter accounts, blogs,etc. always in hand. As the post said: “Modern consumers are demanding. They want the information, they want it now and they want it to be in a format that they can easily digest.” We’re learning to be selective and trying not to waste time searching for what we want.

On the other hand, we can ask ourselves: Is this bad? I don’t really think so and I agree with some comments made in this post. Culture and business are constantly changing and nowadays many people have such a lot to read in a limited time so, in my opinion they have to process it differently and in this modern life we have to get used to see people trying to adapt in order to achieve their goals, as everyone wants.

This discussion is really a “hot potato”…So here I left some of my ideas, will need to reflect more on the subject!


4 thoughts on “Changing brains?

  1. Class has caused me to dig deeper and ponder the thought that this new style of reading leads to a shorter attention span and less focus. As you note, this shift is a necessity and relates to efficiency. Carr and others don’t really hit on this facet. I think if work, school, and life required us to read “deeply,” we would (and could) switch back to the “old” style of absorbing information.

    1. Yes, there’s totally the need to balance. I agree with you about the ‘old style’. It’s necessary, when we need to read deeply we should do it. But sometimes, there’s the possibility to “skim” over the text in this modern life when time is pressing us and I don’t believe it’s so bad.

  2. I think this is really a no way back. The future will be of a “two styles of reading”… like switching from different languages. Us, in the student condition, will have to learn to switch on and off with mastery. I think it’s a technique: the more we can practice, the better we’ll be!

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