Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Short Attention Spans

The Internet worries me for other reasons. I have always been a reader, so the Internet has enhanced my reading, not lessened it. But in a country where reading habits are already so poor, I have to wonder what it is doing to the young.
In a thought-provoking piece in today's Star, Marina Mahathir expresses her concerns that the internet is creating a generation with short attention spans, and no capacity to read longer texts.

Incidentally, Marina isn't quite right when she says there's no male equivalent to chick lit.  It's often called lad-lit or a bit less politely, but slightly more poetically, as dick-lit!


savante said...

Unfortunately she's right actually. Hardly anyone I know reads anymore! Magazines and papers at the most.

And the guys are the worst.


I deal with students in work, all of them are in high school age. Sadly but truly, girls read more than guys. However, I don't think we should solely blame it on them. Children from parents who read tend to love books more. So unless the current generation takes an initiative to step up and take reading seriously, the literacy of our country is not going anywhere. Once we fail to create a reading generation, we will need to wait for the next for another chance. It's not as bleak as people commonly think. I still have hope, though not high, in this. Provide access to books for youngsters. That's the most urgent thing now.

K said...

Um.. I.. ooh, shiny!

marineko said...

One of our current Gem of the Month promotion titles is about this, actually - The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. It's quite interesting, although I'm not sure if less people are reading now. I take the train to work every day and one thing that's different is that about four years ago I'd be the only person in the train car reading (sometimes there'd be one more person) but lately there would be 2-5 others equally engrossed in their books. And at the store, while teens usually would only browse magazines for the most part, a few years ago, nowadays everyone's looking for Twilight and Wimpy Kid and Percy Jackson, etc.