With the democratization and increasing portability of information, people’s attention span and capacity for reading has dimished at an astonishing rate. I must admit that I am one of those who suffer from this affliction.
In the past, we used to be able to plough through thick tomes of knowledge, fantasy, religion and whatever else captures our fancy. I could dawdle for hours and hours in libraries, picking up one book after another and devouring it with relish. I especially loved reading encyclopedias, and occasionally, I could read from cover to cover.
Not any more it seems. With the lure of easy information on the web, and the quick availability of bite-sized information on blogs, book summaries, wikipedia, and the like, I have become a scanner rather than a delver. Information now gets delivered to my cranium in small, often miniscule bite-sized pieces, instead of elaborate and complex frameworks.
I believe that I am not alone in this. Many have remarked that youths and teens nowadays tend to multi-task and acquire information from varied sources rather than a singular one. They do not have the stamina or patience to sit in one spot and read line after line. Short cuts, acronyms and abbreviated words seem to be the order of the day.