Technology was indeed revolutionary. It brought some changes for which you and I are grateful. Nonetheless, it is turning us into different creatures, shaping our brains differently.
Day after the other, humans are coping with the new life they lead. Devices constantly ask for our attention, leaving us troubled and unstable.
This article is far from being about the inconveniences of technology. Yet, it falls on how it changed our relationship with books and reading.
With the enormous social media platforms that we have today, our concentration span is becoming shorter. Our brains got used to fast and sudden bursts of information. And so reading became a hard-reaching goal instead of an instinct.
Why is this happening?
As George R.R. Martin said: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
Reading gives you many life experiences in one. And for ages, our ancestors found it fascinating, yet captivating, to live a variety of events and emotions thanks to books.
But today, in this century, we are no longer readers. People would rarely dedicate hours of their day to flipping pages and reading phrases. So you may wonder why?
Social Media and cheap dopamine
Cheap dopamine is a modern problem that comes with technology. It’s about constantly getting effortless pleasure and finding a permanent source of satisfaction. Considering that it’s pretty damaging to the brain, it is a hundred times harder to work for happiness and joy.
Subsequently, real-world activities that require focus become challenging. That’s why humans today find reading for fun even tough to think of.
Everyone is used to cheap dopamine, so books and their dopamine level get carelessly thrown to the corner.
Distracted people cannot read
The fast and short pieces of content are supported by nearly every social media. And here I’m talking about the format the most distracting in this digital world.
Lately, it’s been even hard to watch longer content. The mindless scrolling taught us that if something doesn’t catch your attention within two seconds, it’s bad. Plus, the notifications and apps that constantly ask for your presence, the news’ ability to abruptly break your mood, and you name it.
Whereas, reading needs pretty much the opposite of this environment. Each book wants to be given time and patience to touch you, affect you, and develop its message in your mind slowly as it should.
Exessive access to information
Compared to the generations before, having this access to information is a real blessing. Yet a sword with two sides. As equally as it helps us learn fast and find solutions in seconds, it takes away the interest in searching.
Rarely do people have the patience to read long things to learn, let alone for fun. Someone with access to videos, summaries, book reviews, audio versions, etc. Why would they read, right?
Our searching and learning desires are becoming numb, we lean for what is ready and easy to consume. Automatically, we push away anything that needs time and a slow process.
How can you avoid this from happening?
Limit your screen time
I know! Easy said than done. But still worth trying.
Passing long periods in front of a screen is the most thing that keeps us disconnected from books. And maybe from ourselves. We forget how beautiful it is to make an effort to gain good feelings. We sink into a cycle of receiving and laziness, letting behind simple magical actions, like reading.
On the other hand, it is healthiest to start replacing your screen time with physical book time. It will help stabilize your mental health and bring back that attachment to reading you lack!
There are many tips you can follow to limit screen time or improvise your own. But do not give up on this goal.
Re-learn to enjoy the slow activities
We should know that it is fine if we are not rushed. Not everything needs to be done quickly and at a timeline. Sometimes we need to just chill in a cozy place and pass an evening, disconnected, reading slowly.
Life with technology, with many devices around, is becoming busy and stressful. It’s slightly pushing us to move fast, act fast, read the summary, watch the clip, and move on. While real joy and inner peace meet at the simplicity of a slow lifestyle. And books are best friends for those who love to slow down.
Fall in love with books and romanticize it
In other words, find your way to romanticize reading!
As we belong to this generation, it will be unacceptable to resist its technology and development. Yet, what sounds right is mixing the two. Taking the benefit of technology as it is while growing a certain love of reading and physical books connection.
Read what you love until you love to read is a beautiful quote that I admire. You can start here by reading a genre that you enjoy, and keep going until you find your style. Even if you’re totally a beginner!
Or mix it with some rituals, maybe an exact reading time, making a reading journal, or a reading nook if you will!
Whenever you start reading, I want you to focus on nothing but your book. Disconnect yourself from anything else and get into what you read.
Learning how to read mindfully may be your lost key. This happens with some critical reading, paying attention to the details and the back story of each book. This will get you to engage much better in every reading session you attempt.
For more information, here is a full article to help with it: Read better with critical thinking.
Altogether, reading helps in all aspects of life, from mental health to productivity, passing by imagination, knowledge, and more. Yet people simply DO NOT read. Especially now with Technology, it brought up some habits too hard to resist.
The damage is huge, but surely reparable. All we should do is recognize the root of the problem and patiently fix it. Making sure reading is still a part of our generation.
What about you? Do you feel disconnected from books at times? Does technology affect the way you read? Share your story!