After coming across a reading in the text “The Broadview Reader In Book History,” I found something that struck me. An article done by N. Katherine Hayles titled “How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine,” discusses the fact that in today’s world more and more reading is being done on digital materials than ever before. Because of that, she mentions that “the reading of print books and literary genres has been declining over the last twenty years.”
Upon reading this article, Hayles brings up an author, Mark Bauerlein, and his article titled “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes our future.” Reading that title alone really struck me, and got me thinking, are we really the dumbest generation?
With so much new technology that is always rapidly evolving and bettering itself, it has become very normal for us to lean on that new technology available. You don’t know the answer to something? Google is just a click away and can answer any question you have instead of looking it up in a book. Why read a print copy of something when you can access a digital copy on your kindle or find that article you need to read online? Bauerline argues that there is a link in the decline of reading skills leading directly to a decrease in print reading.
it is very true that we tend to be too immersed in our cellphones and other technologies at times, there are ways in which technology does impact our lives in negative ways in terms of our abilities at face to face communication, using our phones as a way to get rid of idle or quiet time we are not used to.
However, on the other spectrum there have been ways in which technology really has been an asset to us in many positive ways. At Broome Community College where I graduated from before coming to Geneseo, I had the opportunity to be enlightened on some of these positive aspects. Author Clive Thompson came to Broome C.C. last Spring to give a talk about his book “Smarter Than You Think.” I had the opportunity before he came to speak to read that book, and found it to be a very interesting perspective on how technology really is helping us in many ways rather than harming us.
So obviously there are many different views on this topic that speak to the claim as to whether or not we are the dumbest generation, and it’s up to you to decide for yourself.
What do YOU think?