Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yakking for real reasons

Here's an interesting article on what younger people find to be dispensable. One of the items listed is newspapers-- "As of 2010, only 7% of 18- to 24-year-olds reported having read a print newspaper the day before, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. This is the first time that figure has reached single digits." Someone remarked in the comments, "Newspaper readership dropped because teenagers see no reason to read anything. They just yak on their cell phones all day long for no real reason."

I tend to disagree with that. I'm not a teenager, obviously, but it's been quite a while since I got a paper newspaper. Why would you pay for something that only comes out once a day, and that kills a lot of trees unnecessarily, when you can keep up to date with the news easily online? And the fact that young people get their news from social network sites is not a bad thing, either; you get your news much more quickly from Twitter than if you only see a newspaper once a day, or wait for the five o'clock news. And if something of import happens, people follow links to the story, and go read up on it in detail.

And now that I have a smart phone, I embrace the technology as much as a teenager would. Smart phones are great. You can read books. You can surf the internet. You can keep up with the news. And admittedly, you can waste plenty of time, too. Nevertheless, I wish people would quit deriding cell phones, and other newer technologies, and stop implying that they're contributing to illiteracy. As far as I can tell, most people do more reading on cell phones than they've done before. That doesn't mean they're reading Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, of course-- but reading in general is a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment