Stoogle (more reading habits)

This article (Is sStupid making us google?) has popped up on Art & Literature Daily. More on the effect of internet on reading and thinking habits. I seem to have read this article before but sometimes ALDaily has this weird habit of recycling old articles back to the top of the page. Here is an extract but for the full deal click here:

I don’t know about Mr. Carr, but I have no doubt that I go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense. The question is, how guilty do I need to feel about this? In his view, presumably, quite a lot guilty, since by reading online as much as I do I am depriving myself of the ability to read offline. He takes this insight to an even more alarming conclusion in the end, writing that “as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.” And if that’s the case for veteran readers, think how much worse it must be for the jeunesse dorée of the information age, if they never developed the habits that accompany “deep reading” in the first place.


5 responses to “Stoogle (more reading habits)

  1. Simple: when we want mere information, we read on line. When we read for enjoyment, we read off line. Some people don’t read for enjoyment because they don’t enjoy it, so they are never going to read off line, and wouldn’t have read off line even if the internet did not exist. The internet is not reducing the number of people who read, but increasing it: at least there are many more people now who are reading something, even if it’s only the captions on Facebook, than there were before.

    I make the same distinction myself: I read the newspapers published in Malta via the internet. I read the London papers sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea – because I enjoy them.

  2. Sounds a bit too much of a reductio ad absurdum Daphne. I don’t think it’s that simple and the more I read the more I tend to think that the internet IS changing our reading habits (and forming different ones for the younger generations).

  3. In my opinion, reading online and reading books are two separate propositions that are not in competition with one another.

    The only negative impact that internet may have on ‘deep’ reading is when it takes up a chunk of time, thereby reducing reading time.

    I do not think that the net can replace reading ‘The book Jesus wrote’ or ‘Violent Democracy’.

    Small experiment.

    When visiting a new destination, do you obtain info exclusively from the net or exclusively from travel books/publications?

  4. this and previous articles probably “popped up” long after the original which appeared on the spectator in august.

  5. Reading is reading, who cares if it’s online or offline. I often read free sci-fi novellas online, and I just finished reading two Jules Verne classics on my palm pilot (downloaded them free off a website). So I don’t think the point is really online or offline, it’s more about the new reading pattern emerging as a result of us being exposed to massive amounts of information which we must quickly evaluate to decide which ones to ‘deep read’.

    I agree that using the internet changes attention span with regard to reading in general, but I don’t think that precludes ‘deep reading’ at all – it’s just that what you’re deep reading has to be really interesting!

    I agree with Daphne’s point about people who never read anyway are now reading at least a little bit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s