Decline of thinking because of lack of reading interest in modern society Essay
Decline of thinking because of lack of reading interest in modern society, 495 words essay example
Do you ever skim over an article just because it's too long? In the essay "Reading and Thought," by Dwight Macdonald, the author talks about the decline of thinking. Macdonald says that magazines and newspapers have irrelevant material that doesn't help the reader become a better person (Macdonald 108). Instead, it feeds into the quest of the reader to be "well informed" which is fueled by curiosity (Macdonald 108). And the reader doesn't have any time to read long passages, instead they favor small articles that are direct to the point and if they do have to read long passages, the reader skims (Macdonald 109). The demand of the reader to have short passages due to time constraints leads to the reading material being rushed out the door, without the writer thinking about writing something meaningful (Macdonald 109). Macdonald objects to the reading habit of skimming through an article and not giving a thought about what the reader just read. He also objects to the reading material because it is shallow, and it doesn't appeal to the readers' personal interest or make them a better person (Macdonald 108). This leads to the decline of thinking because the reader is simply reading something that arouses their curiosity for a short amount of time and since the reader doesn't have any time, the reader doesn't elaborate on what he/she read. And there is a lot of irrelevant reading material in newspapers and magazines which contribute to the time constraints because the reader wants to read all of it due to the need of being "well informed". Macdonald is right about the decline of thinking due to the harmful reading habits and shallow reading material, and the decline of thinking can be seen on the Internet, the American school system, and my personal experience.
The decline of thinking can be seen on the Internet. In the essay "Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains," by Nicholas Carr, the author says that he cannot focus after reading a book for a short amount of time (Carr 138). He blames the Internet for not being able to focus because the Internet has taught him to skim everything he reads. He talks about a study done by University College London on online reading habits (Carr 140). The study showed that people would skim and then jump from source to source without ever going back, and they wouldn't read more than one or two pages of an article (Carr 140). The reader doesn't have time so the reader jumps from links to links, absorbing all kinds of irrelevant information without ever elaborating on the material that the reader is reading. There are many distractions on the Internet, links leading to some article that particular doesn't appeal to the readers' personal interest or doesn't help them make a better person, but rather, it arouses their curiosity. This is what Macdonald is talking about, we are just taking in knowledge and never thinking about it.