Not surprisingly, a recent stream of articles and books focus on Internet overload and loss of concentration. In the blog, "8 Must- Reads About Digital Distraction and Information Overload," David Lavenda gives his list, and the titles alone speak to the concern:
"I Can't Think!" - an article in Newsweek.
"Wired for Distraction?" from Time magazine
"Social Media Users Grapple with Information Overload" in USA Today
Your Brain on Computer, a 7-part New York Times special series with titles such as Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction and Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime
Hamlet's Blackberry by William Powers
The Shallows: What The Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr (See video interview with the author in next blog.)
The Tyranny of Email: The Four Thousand Year Journey to Your Inbox by John Freeman.
The Information: A History, A Flood, A Theory by James Gleick
Is our online life increasingly distracting us from reading? If so, we might not have time to check any of these readings to comprehend the implications biologically, chemically, socially of our new habits of mind. On the other hand, perhaps there is urgency to reading these pieces to fathom the impact of how our lives are changing.
In the Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, its author, David Ulin contends the quiet space needed for reading eludes us in our over-networked times.
What are the risks of living in an overly distracted world, where contemplation, quiet, and sustained reading threaten to be diminished? Have we acquiesced to the distractions, to the small fits of reading online, in chunks, with the classic book as a text slowly diminishing in value and as an activity of mind? Are these changes for the better as some technology gurus proclaim, or are they for the worse as the authors of the named text beseech us to believe?
Image from Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction , NYT article
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