The title “Is Google Making Us Stupid” intrigued me.
Nicolas Carr authored this post which implies we may be dealing with a population of people whose reading habits, both online and off, are changing.
Our audience might be so preoccupied, comprehension of what is written on the page could elude them.
Nicolas admits it’s happening to him,
…Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy….
He then goes on to add,
The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.
To reinforce what he’s saying, Nicolas references a study conducted by the University College, London which published an article titled, Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future.
Part of their findings state,
The picture that emerges from internet research is that most visitors to scholarly sites view only a few pages, many of which do not even contain real content, and in any case do not stop long enough to do any real reading. This is either a symptom of a really worrying malaise – failure at the library terminal – or maybe a sign that a whole new form of online reading behaviour is beginning to emerge, one based on skimming titles, contents pages and abstracts: we call this `power browsing’. We urgently need to understand the root causes of this phenomenon.
Although the University College, London is wanting to understand the “why” of this phenomenon, as bloggers we should be asking, “Will this, or should this, change the way we blog?”
I’m thinking it might.
If we’re aware our visitors may not be stopping long enough to read our posts, finding a way to capture their attention should be of utmost concern.
What say you?
Do you find the internet has changed the way you read?
Thinking abut your surfing habits, what captures your attention long enough to actually read a post?
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