This may be a recurring theme this summer: reading. I’m currently in the middle of reading my third book (a bit behind schedule) and I’m looking forward to catching up. I actually am looking forward to it. If you’ve been reading this blog (or my fatherhood blog) for very long you’ve probably encountered a good deal of talk about technology. I use computers a lot, I value the internet, and I’m quite interested in any new technology because despite the problems (and there are often many) new technologies are the future way of doing things… and I want to be a part of that (you probably should too).
Despite my generally glowing experience with technology a new article says that the internet (and, by extension, new technologies) are changing the ways our brains work. While there are some positives (according to the article) there are also some major negatives. One of the major negatives is apparently our ability to think deeply and retain knowledge. While I’m normally inclined to fight such a belief (I really do conduct a great deal of research on the computer – including reading pages with lots of hyperlinks – for graduate school) reading these books without the pressure of a class has opened my mind to accepting some of the research in the article.
While I’m technically behind in the reading schedule I’ve set for myself (admittedly an ambitious reading schedule) I’ve realized that pressure-free reading (to an extent) is amazing. I’ve been reading the entire book and then writing around two pages of a response from memory. After I finished the second book I realized that I was comparing the two books rather than simply responding to the first. This is the “higher level” knowledge I strive for and I was doing it automatically. In part, this was because I read so much in such a short period of time. That reality, however, was created by reading a book and not a computer screen (with all sorts of distracting gizmo’s going off every couple of minutes). My undivided attention led to greater insights, memory, and understanding. What have you to say, Technology?