This week, Andrew wrote a blog titled, “Worried About Our Younger Generations Not Reading the News?” and it drew my interest. During the course of our Comm 100C Summer Session classes, the professor brought up important news stories throughout the lectures and I noticed how out of touch I was with current issues and that many times there were only a few students (sometimes none) that knew what he was talking about.
Andrew’s blog mentions a Huffington Post article that states that young people are very much in touch with the daily news. The most popular publication turned out to be BuzzFeed. I too visit BuzzFeed daily, but I spend most of my time looking through quirky quizzes, funny lists, entertainment news and popular videos. I spend the least amount of time on current news publications.
It is important to recognize that the news most people consume today are shallower than the ones from previous generations. Michael S. Rosenwald wrote about this changing attitude towards reading for children and adults today on the Washington Post. He says that we used to read linearly, but with so much information being thrown at us on the Internet, and with hyperlinks and videos, “our brains form shortcuts to deal with it all- scanning, searching for key words, scrolling up and down quickly.” He describes this nonlinear reading that we also discussed in class while talking about “Media Scares”. I believe we should be worried about how young adults consume news today because less people have in depth knowledge about the news and are filling their brains with light facts that prevent them from thinking critically.
Even though Huffington Post writes that “It’s Going to be Okay, Millennials Are Still Reading The News,” we need to be worried about the medium in which people are getting their news from and how in depth they are understanding the material. Rosenwald writes that there needs to be more studies about reading online and reading on paper, but people seem to be able to more deeply comprehend articles read on paper than on electronic devices. There are fewer students that are able to read long paragraphs. “In a book, there are no graphics or links to keep you on track” Kurup. From a Here & Now interview with Maryanne Wolf, a cognitive neuro scientist from Tufts University, also asks, “how much syntax is lost, and what is syntax but a reflection of our convoluted thoughts? My worry is we will lose the ability to express or read this convoluted prose. Will we become Twitter brains?”
I guess the definition of “news” is changing, much like the linguistic glosses we talked about in class. As more digital technology is integrated into our lives, we need to train our brains to be able to keep up with the fast passed, multitasking abilities. But we should also preserve the slower more comprehensive side that more and more people are lacking in. In order to adapt to this rapidly changing society, it is crucial for people to find a balance between the two reading technologies.