I'm an unabashed internet fan and internet booster, but I do think there's a lot to the concern Nicholas Carr voices in our current issue. Certainly I share this experience:
When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?"
All things considered, I think digital media is unquestionably a boon, but this is an issue. I should say, though, that since my dad bought be a Kindle for my birthday, I've been going back to reading books more. Somehow, taking the book and replicating some of the computer user experience has re-engaged me. And in an odd sense, the fact that it's hard to flip through a Kindle book has also been useful in this regard -- I'm going through Brothers Karamazov one page after another in an patient, orderly manner that I wouldn't have thought possible three months ago.
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