With the advent of the Internet, order the Computer and the Cell Phone we have become an age of Geeks and Nerds with Tweets and Texting, illness becoming a society with less personal conversation—– everyone having their head in his gadget. I have believed that this high tech computerized age will prove to be affecting the culture in some negative fashion and finally I think I have found that element that is being affected—-probably the most.
That element being affected is reading and with that said I am talking about a certain type of reading. Because with texting, ask Facebook, Tweeter one could argue reading of words might have actually increased. The other part of the equation that some say has affected reading is the invention of radio and TV—–causing reading to diminish—-even as the computer age has contributed to the gathering of knowledge, through information gained (sound bites or bits of information)—–it has taken a critical ingredient out of the culture and that is—-reading to understand.
You would think with all the heads buried in some gadget getting yet another text and/or some type of information—we should start to show a rise in intellect—but not so—Why not?
Allow me to quote a sentence from “ How To Read a Book” initial copyright 1940 Mortimer Adler
“There is a sense in which we moderns are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding”
With that one sentence and Mortimer’s book—-it opened the door for me—-showing me how facts and knowledge will not increase “Understanding”. Adler goes on to write how reading materials (books) at different levels of writing on the subject matter—-will force a greater understanding of the issue and/or concepts written about. It is this understanding that becomes critical in allowing a person to grow and I might add allows society to gain cohesion.
It is this passive reading in Tweeter, Facebook and Texting while giving you more fact it adds little or nothing to understanding. Reading on a higher level must be active thereby adding the element of thought with analyzes in getting to understanding. Enlightenment of an issue comes when you know what the words mean and understand what ramification they have—-then and only then will subject matter come together.
Newspapers, magazines, Tweets, Facebook and Texting may increase your store of information but generally cannot improve understanding to any depth. It is serious reading and research in book form that will challenge your understanding of the subject matter.
My point is simply, that today’s Tweets, Texting and Facebook is verbiage that gives you little in understanding and attacks the very ability to read with understanding of the issues or the motive driving the issue. The one liner found in and on the internet communications are caustic and acrimonious—-that may give you knowledge but never understanding. There are two affects that I see manifesting themselves over the years.
1/ As I mentioned above it has fostered a sharp and biting type of communication that has evolved into something that is accepted—-and never leads to bringing together or does it lead to “Understanding” within the social fabric.
2/ These gadgets have divorced or separated the culture to the point there is no need or want to talk to one another in personal conversation—-nor will we read to understand one another nor understand a given subject.
Let us not kid ourselves there is great danger in this infatuation with computer gadgets, it is in fact driving some kind of wedge between the citizens—it is keeping the citizen apart and not educating the citizens through a reading of good books and the pursuing of serious reading. These gadgets are short circuiting the citizens ability to think and learn.
So, We Shall See—-what history will say regarding this time period and these gadgets?