Stop and Smell the Pages

WORD OF THE WEEK—Plethora (adjective) \ˈple-thə-rə\: a very large amount or number; an amount that is much greater than what is necessary (synonym = excess or abundance).  

In the digital society that we live in, it’s difficult not to get mired in the plethora of distractions that pervade the world. Our lives are entwined with our smartphones, tablets, and every other piece of technology that begs to be handled and caressed as the time dwindles on. So, before you know it, another day flits by, and you have nothing to show for it except a string of Facebook status posts and a new understanding of the latest celebrity gossip.

Obviously, this is not the case for everyone (I personally couldn’t care less about celebrity gossip). However, most people have their weaknesses in terms of what draws them in (I sometimes fall victim to humorous link-bait). The problem is that we have become a society of internet skimming. No one has time to read every word of every online article they are interested in, so what do we do?

We skim. And that isn’t necessarily a bad skill to have, all things considered. But now a problem is surfacing that we are only being to realize.

This article from the Washington Post is troublesome at best, frightening at worst.  At least, that’s how I feel. If we are literally harming our ability to slow down and read for clarity, what does that mean for the future of reading? What does that mean for the future of writing?

The article seems to suggest that the issue is reversible, but only if we consciously make the choice to detach ourselves from the internet and rewind our brains. That’s not an easy decision, nor is it always a possibility. Limiting usage seems like the best compromise, but do enough of us have that kind of will power?

I’ll be keeping an eye on this topic, but only in moderation.

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Lisa M. Green

Author & Copyeditor at Lisa M. Green
Lisa M. Green is the author of The First, a novel of mythic and paranormal fantasy. She is also a high school English and Special Education teacher. As a life-long writer, she considered a career in screenwriting or journalism before deciding on a career in education. As a teacher, she enjoys educating high school students about writing.
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