Tag Archives: technology

Literature? Who on earth reads books?

Computers make the world go around. We cannot live without technology, and I don’t mean the teenagers who wouldn’t be able to check their facebook and instagram accounts anymore. It is everywhere and we are completely dependent on it, as it is necessary in so many areas of life – a doctor use their computer programs to analyze the progress of chemotherapy, a stockbroker needs the Internet to observe changes on the market, a librarian use achieves to find a particular book. Most schools use various programs and tools which facilitate the learning process. Some teachers are even unable to make lessons without their notebook with access to Internet. Moreover, we should bear in mind that in the world there’s more ‘virtual’ money than we can back up by the real currency. If the system goes down, our money stored in banks will simply disappear, leading in riot and social unrest.

Generally speaking, technology makes our lives easier and is a very positive phenomenon. But since we can do almost everything with it, we are getting more and more lazy. What’s the point in calculating anything if a computer can do it for you and in addition will highlight the most important figures? The danger starts when one doesn’t see the reason in reading books if he can surf the net instead.

Young people tend to spend more time behind the screen (on their PCs, tablets, smartphones or other devices enabling quick connection to the Web) than the adults, wasting huge amounts of time playing Angry Birds, liking their friends’ photos on facebook or chatting online. It is said that the generations that grew up with computers are less intelligent, less sociable and less read. Teenagers take no interest in reading books. Their knowledge about literature ends with some information about set books the teachers told them, because few of them have read it themselves. And if they have some story on paper ( or online, e-books are becoming more and more popular) it is mostly not Waiting for Godot, but something more like Twilight or Fifty shades of grey. The popularity of these kind of literature is unbelievable. Even if there are novels written by young ambitious writers, it usually doesn’t receive great popularity, which only vampire stories can attain. But maybe what is popular should not be of quality, but be written in simple language and tell the simple stories – of romance, cheating, family feud or school life. And all the characters are just like hundred similar before and after. Plastic hero in plastic story for plastic people in plastic world. The literature has been dethroned. Using the newest iPad is cool, reading books is not.
Fortunately, printed word is not yet completely forgotten
We cannot ascribe this phenomenon only to the Internet, although it is responsible for enormous part of it. The second is the way we are educated – since every employer wants a specialist in one particular domain, nobody cares about general knowledge. Nobody requires a lawyer to know how many orbitals the atom of hydrogen has or the chemist to know who the Frederick Nietzsche was. Nobody ain’t time for reading, especially if the set books were an unpleasant experience back in the day. Since that time, novels and poetry are things considered ‘for swots only’. But wouldn’t it be good if all citizens of a country knew the most important figures for their homeland’s history? One might ask what for. For the sake of knowledge itself. An educated person should know certain things.

There is, though, a lot of social campaigns encouraging people to read and they have been largely successful in many countries of Europe. It is very important to emphasize the importance of reading in our lives, as the activity that enriches our vocabulary and imagination, simultaneously widening our horizons and sometimes even changing our views on world. Let’s not forget that literature makes the culture.