Katharine Thu Nguyen
March 15, 2019
Increased reliance of readers on Google, restrained their critical thinking.
The Internet made reading entirely different than what it used to be. Web reading is making less effective readers as their capacity to concentrate declines with time. The argument stresses on how technology and Google influenced the thought process of humans. It attempts to show that the internet transformed the way of thinking, having detrimental impacts on learning. It claims that although the initial impacts of the internet were amazing but it later negatively influenced the way of thinking such as causing distractions and adversely effecting users concentration. Reading on a screen is entirely different from books because the former poses many challenges for the youth. Screens make reading slow, ineffective, less deep and less memorable. Although technology offers many benefits to society but switching to online reading is ineffective because it develops risky behaviors that undermine reading and learning.
The transformation of the society from printed books to the web has declined their concentration ability. The argument attacks technology and disapproves the benefits of the internet. Google has not played a positive role and undermined the reading ability of people. Nicholas Carr mentions in his article, “I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle” (Carr). Now understanding a simple text has become a tough task because students prefer to read on screens. They try to avoid book reading, which is essential for developing critical thinking and skepticism. Transformation of a society from print books to electronic books is extremely dangerous because it undermines the cognitive efforts of young readers. When students are reading on screens, they are less likely to explore the deeper meaning of the text. They are inclined to finish reading by giving a quick go through but don’t grasp the actual message. This can be understood by comparing the electronic readers with print readers. The former face difficulty in explaining what that read while students who used books can narrate their reading experiences. This confirms the claim that electronic media is entirely impractical for replacing hard-books.
The web is not an ideal platform for reading books or articles as people are unable to grasp the information. When a student is motivated to spend more time on screens, he neglects the implications such as the inability to scan the information in the right manger. The readers that rely on books have a better understanding of the concepts and content. Compared to him, the reader that depends on screens lacks an understanding of the basic concepts. Evidence suggests that “problems that students experience with e-books include eye strain, distractions, a lack of overview, inadequate navigation features, and insufficient annotation and highlighting functionality” CITATION Car171 \l 1033 (Myrberg). The evidence suggests that readers who had quitted print books are unable to provideoverview on what they read. This can be seen as an apparent weakness of reading on screens. Most of the readers pay inadequate attention to the content that appears on screens. This indicates that they fail to establish links with the texts that can be easily established in case of print books. To develop an in-depth knowledge on the material one requires to pay constant attention but online tools are impractical tools for this.
It is difficult for the readers to maintain a continuous pace to what they see on screens. Youth motivated to the student on screens exhibit low levels of concentration power. Nicholas Carr claims, “and what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles” (Carr). Online reading deteriorates concentration capacity of the people that is due to increased dependence on the internet and Google. The argument claims that the way of thinking changed because people now don't think as they used to do before Google or the internet. Reading a book in printed form was more effective as it kept the reader engaged through while reading the same book became ineffective on the internet. Relying on internet weakens personal through the process. Reading on screens is ineffective because people cannot develop concentrations for longer hours. Their ability to focus on the content declines after a couple of minutes. Controlling attention and gaining focus have become complex tasks due to increased reliance on screen reading. Students that use electronic mediums like screens or tablets for reading express difficult in maintaining continuous pace with the texts.
It is crucial for people to identify negative aspects of the internet. It is difficult for the readers to maintain a continuous pace to what they see on screens. The texts on screes are ineffective to evoke deep thoughts also links to the early established claims as it explains readers inability to find the deeper meaning of the content. They struggle to reach the deeper and actual message of the text, depicting their disinterest CITATION Tre11 \l 1033 (Mogg). This undermines their ability to grasp things. This depicts that reading on screens can be attractive and appropriate for short readings or articles but not for textbooks, magazines or newspaper. Dependence on screens has declined a student's ability to spend time on useful content that could develop effective learning behavior. The evidence suggests that readers of online content are more likely to get distracted. This undermines the quality of information they grasp. When a youth is reading through online platforms, they see different things on their screens like ads, videos and offers that are sufficient for creating distractions. The readers lack the power to prevent themselves from focusing on less important things like that. In such a situation, it is thus difficult to develop a continuous connection with the texts.
The Internet is not the right place for reading, as every site is full of distractions. Each page that you open up on the internet includes many links, taking you to a new site, making you lose pace with the previous content that you intended to read. Effective reading demands the ability to concentrate on the content for a longer duration. While in case of screens readers are more likely to get distracted due to the colorful backgrounds, pictures, themes, and related content. It is claimed that "our attention problem is due to both lacks of focus and focus on the wrong things” CITATION Car161 \l 1033 (Beaton). The central reason that prevents us from focusing on the screens is due to the availability of huge content on online platforms. This makes it difficult for readers to exhibit a stronger sense of self-control. They even forget at times why they were using screens. The argument claims that students are more inclined to spend time on wrong things that lower their capability of paying attention to the useful material. Because readers are witnesses more web pages and content on screens, they fail to concentrate on the important content. Modern readers have thus established harmful attitudes and habits that can cause more destruction to their reading.
Reading things on Google has no profound impacts on the reader as only after reading a few pages his concentration drifts. Reading a book in printed form was more effective as it kept the reader engaged through while reading the same book became ineffective on the internet. Compared to print form students who prefer screens are more likely to get distracted. “The ways we use technologies lead us to develop particular habits of mind. With print, even though we might skim and scan, the default mindset is continuous reading” CITATION Nao17 \l 1033 (Baron). When people depend on electronic gadgets, they develop negative habits of reading main points or highlights. Fewer readers will bother to go through the entire article or book. This attitude has deteriorating implications on reading attitude. It is also claimed that reading on screens is not linked to one’s learning. People who depend on screens are not inclined to grasp the information, so they just give a quick view CITATION Car171 \l 1033 (Myrberg). Drifting is common among people who prefer online reading than printed books. This also reflects their impatience to go through whole content. As this method is ineffective for building continuous reading, readers lack the ability to scan entire information. Having access to massive content of different nature increase the threats of distractions. Readers may start on a different page and end and a different one.
It was never possible for the people to read enormous material before the existence of the internet. They had to get hard copy or visit libraries thus limiting their access to the materials. However, the access to huge reading material due to the online versions of books and article does not make current generation better readers. American Psychological Association reveals that "less than 20 percent of U.S. teens report reading a book, magazine or newspaper daily for pleasure, while more than 80 percent say they use social media every day” CITATION Jim18 \l 1033 (Sliwa). Spending more time online has negative impacts on reading because students are giving little or no time to magazines, books or newspapers. Reading books is important for developing reflective skills that help youth in their academics and studies. However, with the increased dependence on the internet and technological tools like tablets, smartphones and laptops youth is encouraged to waste time on them. With technology, the students are less inclined to spend their time on productive activities than leisure time. Youth preferring online reading are less likely to read useful content and hardly gives time to magazines or books. Irrespective of their daily interaction with digital reading they are unaware of the latest news, political or social events.
Reading on screens declined the ability of the reader to retain things. The argument claims that online reading involves many adverse impacts for the society including difficulty in storing information. Readers that rely on print formats are better at retaining the knowledge in their minds thus making it a practical tool for learning. Remembering remains one of the critical concerns for screen readers because they are more likely to forget things. Our memories are becoming obsolete because readers lack the ability to retain content in brains. Reading through screens have thus changed the entire system of processing information. Having access to a huge amount of information on the web is more likely to cause ‘cognitive overload.' When a human eye is contacting with more than adequate information the brain fails to store any information. Evidence proves, “when the amount of information entering our working memory exceeds our ability to process and store it, we have trouble retaining that information in our long-term memory or drawing connections with other memories” CITATION Lin171 \l 1033 (Kolowich). The Internet age has thus made it more difficult for youth to learn or retain information. Cognitive overloads are ineffective because they discourage the habits of learning and grasping the deeper meaning of the content. People that spend more time on screens are causing extensive brain activity that deteriorates the ability to retain even the shortest information.
Youth's ability to learn is suffering after switching from print to screen reading. The modern reader is fascinated with the idea of digital reading but unaware of its implications on learning. Leaning has become obsolete due to reliance on technological tools like tablets, smartphones, and laptops. People having access to search engines are less likely to use their brains from recalling the required information because they prefer to use Google for searching even the little things. In every case when we need to search answer for a question we have trained ourselves to conduct a search on Google rather than retrieving information from our brains. This has promoted a negative habit of using search engines unnecessarily. Excessive dependence on Google for little things is making youth dumb and less intelligent. They don't feel the urge of keeping information in their brains because they know that they can gain information every time they need from the internet. This approach is discouraging youth from learning and grabbing information related to the content they read. Dependence on the internet is also causing unnecessary delays in responding to simple questions because readers have started doubting their intelligence. Majority of the screen readers have developed the habit of confirming information from Google even when they know the answer. This creates their distrust towards self. The worst implications can be witnesses in an exam when students fail to recall simple answers due to their habit of conducting Google search for little things.
The issue of ineffective reading or diminishing concentration is critical because it is linked to the overall though the process of an individual. The issue of reading as one of the crucial one needing attention due to its impacts on one’s thinking. The web is not an ideal platform for reading books or articles as people are unable to grasp the information. The ability to absorb things in reading print sources is greater compared to the reading on the web CITATION Lin171 \l 1033 (Kolowich). They are reading on the web as a significant issue because the current generation's reliance on technology has increased massively. People now spend more time on the internet than books or printed copies. Although the internet offers some benefits to the people but it does not remove the dangers for the readers. Damages are apparent, the damages, “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print” (Carr). One’s ability to absorb information is completely at risk due to our inclination towards screens and digital reading. In modern society, youth is more likely to forget things in a short duration because they are reading through screens. Such reading doesn't provide an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the deeper meaning of the texts. Readers are just focusing on the highlights or important content that they will forget easily.
Children spend more time on screens than books. This exhibits the danger of losing contact with books. Evidence suggests, "53 percent of children have access to a mobile device such as smartphone or tablet computer, with 20 percent of all parents having downloaded apps specifically for their children” CITATION Tre11 \l 1033 (Mogg). The behaviors of parents and children towards electronic devices have undermined print reading. As everyone has access to electronic gadgets like a tablet, a computer so this provides the increased opportunity of using screens to children. The argument claims that parents encourage children to use such tools without knowing its implications. They ignore the significance of book reading and download different apps for their children. Such an approach has negative impacts on developing reading and learning capabilities of children CITATION Nao17 \l 1033 (Baron). Majority of the parents believe that screens or technology is equally effective or more powerful than printed books. This belief motivates them to encourage their children to use technological gadgets. They are unaware of the repercussion of online reading thus considering it as a useful tool for reading. The belief of parents that screen reading has become an essential component for surviving in the competitive world further encourage children to quit book reading.
Increased dependence on screens for reading deteriorated personal thinking. Youth today is considering online platforms more powerful for reading, but they neglect the fact that it undermines reflective thinking. When people build the habit of using Google unnecessarily, they fail to develop a critical approach towards the content they read CITATION Lin171 \l 1033 (Kolowich). Reflective practice demands to have a stronger sense of understanding the content and the message of texts. Print books and materials are thus better for promoting critical thinking that is essential for generating reflective ability. Because screens have discouraged the process of thinking due to ‘cognitive overloads', it limits one's potential for reflective thinking. One cannot absorb all information required for developing stronger insights with the content. The rational approach is also least attainable with online reading that damages the process of personal thinking. Relying too much on Google and technological tools have adverse impacts on young readers CITATION Jim18 \l 1033 (Sliwa). Learning today has become more challenging due to the availability of excessive information on websites. Screens discourage one’s dependence on memory for finding the right information required for reflective Practice.
Exploring the parallel impacts of technology and computers is crucial. The argument claims that the readers must learn about how much damage the internet caused to society. It is crucial to understand the reading difficulties that they encounter in online platforms CITATION Jim18 \l 1033 (Sliwa). The paper informs the audience about the diminishing impacts on the internet on the concentration ability of the readers. The risks associated with web reading. It is not rational to switch to online reading because it affects the overall process of learning adversely. Reading on screens may be attractive, but it is against the idea of learning or retaining information in memory for a longer duration. The research suggests that it is not appropriate to switch to the online platforms because it is impractical and ineffective for replacing print books CITATION Car161 \l 1033 (Beaton). Comparing the performance of screens with printed content one can easily realize that the former does not support effective learning. The implications of online reading reveal that we cannot neglect the importance of printed books or start depending on screens.
An individual is unable to absorb the in-depth meaning of the content through an online source. Online reading does not provide adequate opportunities for scanning the information appropriately. Reading through the internet is a critical issue as it is transforming the way of thinking. The paper informs the people about the adversities of switching to the online world. It raises concerns in the mind of the reader as they manage to compare the reading at two different platforms. The technology has worsened the current generation by producing detrimental impacts on their reading. Web reading is making less effective readers as their capacity to concentrate declines with time. Reading insightful books like War and Peace is not possible on the online platform. Internet causes distractions, drifting the interest of the readers and making them less engaged. The debate illustrates that replacing print with web reading is impossible. An individual is unable to absorb the in-depth meaning of the content through an online source. Reading through the internet is a critical issue as it is transforming the way of thinking.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Baron, Naomi S. Why Reading On A Screen Is Bad For Critical Thinking. 2017. 12 03 2019 <https://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-s-baron/read-on-screen-learning_b_6681500.html>.
Beaton, Caroline. The Underlying Reason You Can't Focus. 2016. 15 03 2019 <https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinebeaton/2016/12/19/the-underlying-reason-you-cant-focus/#6d6a6b9469bd>.
CARR, NICHOLAS. Is Google Making Us Stupid? 2008. 17 07 2018 <https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/>.
Kolowich, Lindsay. Why Your Memory Sucks: The Science of Remembering in the Internet Age. 2017. 16 03 2019 <https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-internet-affects-memory>.
Myrberg, Caroline. "Why doesn’t everyone love reading e-books? ." Insights 30.3 (2017): 115–25.
Mogg, Trevor. Study: Children spending more time with screen media than books . 2011. 14 03 2019 <https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/study-children-spending-more-time-with-screen-media-than-books/>.
Sliwa, Jim. "Teens Today Spend More Time on Digital Media, Less Time Reading." American Psychological Association (2018).
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