Skim reading appears to be the new normal—but when we skim texts, our brains don't have time to grasp complexity or fully understand what the writer is trying to say.
This article by Maryanne Wolf, writing for The Guardian, makes the following points:
- Research shows the reading circuit is not given to human beings through a genetic blueprint like vision or language—it needs an environment to develop. Furthermore, it will adapt to that environment.
- The dominant medium will probably be digital.
- If the digital medium is dominant, then there are advantages in processing large amounts of text quickly.
- The result is that you might not have sufficient time to engage in deep-reading processes*.
- There is a possibility that critical analysis, empathy and other deep-reading processes could become the 'collateral damage' of our digital culture.
* 'Deep reading is the active process of thoughtful and deliberate reading carried out to enhance one's comprehension and enjoyment of a text. Contrast with skimming or superficial reading.'
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Source: Guardian, The