I heard a quote from author John Naisbitt the other day that keeps echoing in my head. Naisbitt is the author of the 1982 bestseller “Megatrends.” The observation that stuck with me was, “We are drowning in information, but starved for knowledge.”
In the past few days I have also come across several blog posts deriding, sometimes quite humorously, the way the internet might be changing the way we read and learn. There is even a cover article in The Atlantic entitled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The basic premise of the article is that because there is so much information out there and since text is so prevalent on the internet, we now “power surf” instead of read in depth. (Are you doing it right now? No skipping to the end!)
Undoubtedly, the shift to online everything has changed the way we do lots and lots of things, including read. With e-mail, texting and personal web apps, a case could be made that we actually read MORE than ever before. More, but less. With any change, there is sometimes a natural tendency to demonize that change and long for the good old days. Nonsense. The basics in life do not change and haven’t for centuries.
I can’t help but go back to a post I made almost a year ago from one of my favorite authors, Chuck Klosterman. Check it out.