The perils of reading online

While more people in the western world now prefer to use the internet for their daily dose of news over the traditional newspaper, newspaper readership in India is not faltering. At least till now. However with the burgeoning usage of internet by urban Indians, the numbers could drop. With 24 x 7 access to  the latest news updated by the minute online on any internet enabled device, it is easy to understand why the paper is no longer preferred by many.

While rationalists may argue that information, whether on the screen or on paper is the same, I digress. Reading on the internet offers a different experience from reading the paper. With tons of images and links to various other pages, it becomes difficult to concentrate on a particular article. We may find another link interesting and quickly click on it leaving the present item half read and continue clicking on further links which may appear on the next page.

It is also highly unlikely that we open the web browser for the sole purpose of  reading. Our emails and social media pages would be open always and constant notifications would simply drag our attention to check them out immediately foregoing the current article being read.

All these attention crippling effects mentioned ensures that we hardly read and analyze something thoroughly before moving on. This leads to difficulties in retaining what we have read and a reduced attention span while reading.

However, it is unfair to blame the internet for these effects; for it is we who can choose to use it wisely or not.

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2 comments

  1. how very true and am very happy the gen X thinks this way and not trying to prove that everything digital is everything

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