I'm no Luddite. Course I'm not. Love technology. Always have. But I can see something deeply concerning in the way that tech is messing with our minds.
Skim reading is all the rage right now. Who reads an email, a WhatsApp message or an Instagram post diligently, word by word ? Of course we skim read. It's an essential skill for gathering nuggets of information quickly in today's fast moving businesses.
Trouble is, this approach is affecting other forms of reading. Can't remember the last time I read in detail an online article. These days it's the headline, first paragraph and then a skim to the bottom.
Worst of all, the 'Save to Pocket' option. Can't be bothered to read it now, I'll read it later. Do I? Do I heck. Oh, and by the way I love Pocket and Flipboard. The fault lies not in the app, but in the user.
So from today, I'm going to spend at least half an hour concentrating on one or two articles, and another half hour reading a novel.
I know that sounds like a luxury in our time-poor age. But I know it'll be good for my mind - from the insights I gain, to the critical and reasoning skills that come with deep reading.
Have a read of this article and see what you think. But take your time to read every word and savour every sentence. Over to you.
My research depicts how the present reading brain enables the development of some of our most important intellectual and affective processes: internalized knowledge, analogical reasoning, and inference; perspective-taking and empathy; critical analysis and the generation of insight. Research surfacing in many parts of the world now cautions that each of these essential “deep reading” processes may be under threat as we move into digital-based modes of reading.