About how we consume media and effectively become illiterate


It’s not that we don’t read, because we actually read more – we’re just used to new (and little bit weird) paradigm of rapid, multi-task stimulation provided by Internet. I love memes, internet video, quick abstracts rather than few pages long blog posts, but I think you know what I mean by saying that a lot of this immense, diverse data we process every day don’t stay with us very long. At the end of the evening we may just remember few sweet and one grumpy cat.

Constant “multi-tasking” as we do it today in Internet isn’t actually as great as we thought it would be. You know what I’m referring to – we read blogs, listen to music and have few chat tabs open… and all of this while working in office. One could argue that through this sort of engagement we train ourselves to be better at such diversification of our awareness. Well, we simply don’t. Here you have Daphne Bavelier who will show exactly why, how and what (the point I’m relating to starts from around 9:30):

We (as in sense of the broad concept affecting us all) could just lost the fine art of doing research, reading with understanding, broaden our intellectual horizon through media we consume. Some of the fault could be blamed on the concept of contemporary “entertainment” itself – quick stimulation, rich in loud sounds and vivid images to draw almost surprised/scared attention for few second to induce nourishment for emotional, limbic brain (this is how I see it). Or, we could perceive those media as screen of our existing preferences. Nonetheless, one way or another (IMO) every each of us should take some time and think about how we are consuming media, and is our way of doing it the most beneficial. Paraphrasing Albert Einstein – we now have so many possibilities, opportunities and ways to kill time, but there in not even one method of reviving it.

In my personal opinion any good writing (literature, scientific literature, poetry, drama, blogosphere or whatever) was never meant to look at it with our own perception, but rather to see our surrounding reality through lenses provided by the piece of writing. To maybe rethink our recent view and opinions. To shake a little bit our intellectual structure. We sometimes may do it intuitively, when facing some serious “game-changers”, or when we can easily relate to at least one part of story. But game-changers are rare, same as coincidences making some stories or characters easy for us to relate to; and I think by shifting our approach to consuming media we could find ourselves amazed about how well some of them are designed, fun, smart and just how well we can focus and grow through “mere” entertainment.

If you agree or disagree – please, share in comments. I think the topics of how we consume media and of derivative illiteracy (am I calling it right?) will struck us hard in near future. Anyway, take good care!

– Przemek Kucia

4 thoughts on “About how we consume media and effectively become illiterate

  1. tracycembor says:

    I agree that we “consume” more words per day, but the quality of those words may be less than twenty years ago. There are so many things shouting for our attention, both on and off the internet, so we often choose a sampling of short, easy reading options instead of more “nutritious” essays and editorials, which are longer and require more focus.

    I am certainly guilty of this kind of “smorgasbord” approach to the internet, but obviously this is not where I do my best work. I am most productive when I am offline and writing longhand.

    • Przemek Kucia says:

      … If they choose reading options at all (web video, music, games, etc.). I’m not saying that it is definitely bad, cause clearly approach to entertainment is in the time of change. Today I’m perfectly ok with people deciding that they want quick nourishment, but for heavens sake please, let it be nourishment not empty time filler 😉

      Well, I think that your blog fits well into way of thinking I want to promote. You provide easy to read synthesis of vast knowledge that people could use as those “lenses” to rethink their actual view 😀 And for me there isn’t very much to reach above that kind of engagement in blogosphere.

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