The most influential changes to our culture often come from innovations in technology, and never more so than with the proliferation of the internet into modern society.  Identifying how this social integration will affect our society is a very important field of thought. The momentum of this change is irrevertable, and so lamenting the loss of "long form discourse" seems somewhat nostalgic.  The crux of the matter seems to echo the moniker of the generation.  What does "always on" mean in terms of what is lost and what is gained?  

                                                        what is lost
What is lost is the benefit that accompanies the absence of technology.  Reading books, though possible on the web, requires time and respite from distraction.  Just the act of reading a book involves many functions of the brain:  imagination, language decoding, critical thinking, vocabulary, etc.  It takes focus and patience, but the intellectual rewards are great.  Often when I'm reading a passage in which meanings are layered and complex, I have to sit and think about what I've read and reengage with the text repeatedly to cypher out a sense of its structural currents.  Having spent time educating in English and observing classes I see an impatience for the diligence that is required in careful reading.   Other activities like learning an instrument or mastering a sport take extreme devotions of time and energy to complete.     
 


Jordan Glessner
05/23/2013 4:09am

The classes I teach do not require students to sit and read a text, or listen to an audio text. Yesterday, I was able to cover an English teachers class and this truly opened my eyes to the "Always On" debate. They were asked to read the story, Scarlet Ibis, and had to answer questions related to the text. There were three students who began reading immediately, six others opened the book and began chatting with their friends, and four who immediately asked to use the audio version before even opening the book. I felt like if they can have an escape route they will definitely take it. The need for immediate response and easy access to a different route has promoted a lack of diligence in tasks that take an extended amount of time.

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    Brandon Ellis
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