There was a recent interesting article in The Atlantic about the web and the impact it may be having on the way we read. Asking “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” the author, Nicholas Carr, is not some mindless Luddite saying the web is always bad, but he says he can see within himself that he is spending less time doing “deep reading” with books and more time with short pieces of information that he gets from the web. He wonders if our brains could be changing because we are all processing shorter pieces of information. He talks about how technology–the printing press, the typewriter, even mechanical clocks–changed our ways of thinking.
It would be interesting if faculty who have taught over time see this change happening in students–or in themselves as readers. I see it in myself sometimes. I have to consciously choose to stop being on the web and sit and read without distractions. I wonder if students who grew up with the web as part of their lives see any validity in the distinction between “deep reading” and web reading?