Reading vs. Technology

Rachael Loving, Staff Writer

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Technology seems to be taking over the art of reading in our world today. Everywhere we go, there are people looking down or talking on their phone. There’s an increasing number of those who would rather play games or read online over the choice of reading a book or a newspaper.

People claim that they read a lot because they open up emails and text messages often. That is often an easy level of reading for most people, so it doesn’t make the brain work as hard. Books or articles that aren’t being read electronically take more focus and effort to read and comprehend; therefore, the non-electronic ways of reading are much better for the brain. A study at MIT states that people who read tend to visit museums, attend musical performances and sporting events, and perform volunteer and charity work. This is a plus because it’s helping other people in the community and making people focus on the real world. Kids in the present generation are growing up learning everything from online tools. Teaching kids how to read from an actual book is becoming less and less popular.

Online tools tend to be more convenient for people and have more information than one book. Technology can be used for good things such as learning how to do things or getting extra help. Lots of people use it for gaming. Some games can help work the brain and make it focus, like non-electronics do. However, many use it for things that don’t help at all. According to the same MIT study, people who focus more on the electronic side of things tend to separate themselves from real life.

88% of people in the age group 18-24 read. That’s the highest percentage in the age groups according to the study done by Pew Research Center, an informational center based out of Washington, D.C. This study shows that the percentage of people reading has dropped from 71% in 2011 to 65% in 2016. E-books rose from a 17%-28% in the same time period. This shows how much technology is influencing how people read and learn.

Reading and technology are both important. Reading non-electronically should be encouraged throughout the course of school and education. Making students read books they don’t want to read is a big part of why students don’t want to read. Give suggestions of books they might enjoy or books that would be fun. Encourage reading that way. Electronically, there are thousands of tools that help with reading and have games to help the brain. People can also teach themselves how to do things easier than ever now.