Monday, March 2, 2009

Twitter and Kindle

Last time in class we discussed Edgar’s blog on “rapid fire news” and how news these days is not given to us in its proper, analysis filled form—instead we get the short, often more entertaining summary of current events. For those that use Twitter and other means to get their news without intending to do any further reading, perhaps these methods of getting information is a detriment—it causes people to get lazy. In viewing technology this way, it seems that though there are benefits from the convenience it provides, it is also harming society. I think advances of this kind—making everything faster and easier—is perhaps the lesser of two evils. Let’s face it, without easy access to news people might not be informed at all. Especially with the trend of people not reading much, I wonder how ignorant our society would be without websites like Twitter or other summarized news websites.

Also during class, Amazon’s new toy Kindle was brought up. The fact that Kindle was a portable device on which books can be easily downloaded was mentioned. My mom actually owns one of these, and she absolutely loves it. She loves to read and finishes books extremely fast, so it’s difficult for her to acquire enough English books while living in Japan. The book stores rarely carry English novels, unless you go to a specialized store, which I don’t think she knows of any. If it weren’t for Kindle, my mom would be deprived of reading to the extent that she wants. I think this is a perfect example in which technology and reading can go together, and actually help to encourage people to read more often.

I see it this way: technology can either hurt people’s love of reading, or it can inspire it. It can either make us lazy or it can make us read more. There needs to be a careful balance, and it doesn’t necessarily have to result in a society dependent on fast-paced information. How we choose to use this technology will determine the role that reading plays in our lives.

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