My son went off to boot camp at Parris Island where he isn’t allowed his phone or use of a computer. We are having to communicate by actually writing letters now. As awkward as it is for me, it is even harder for Ben. He grew up in an age of texts and tweets. He is not used to writing a letter.
He has grown up using a computer to do most of his writing so his handwriting has a lot to be desired.
He is also used to the immediate response that he gets from texting. Texting with its poor grammar and even poorer spelling still allows for the appearance of a conversation. The mail system we are dealing with now is pretty sluggish. Our letters are crossing in the mail so it’s hard to carry on that semblance of a conversation.
My point in telling you this is that in this computer age with so much information at your fingertips ready to be accessed in a nanosecond, how much attention are we actually paying to the information? It seems that our attention spans have shrunk to news sound bites and 140-character tweets.
It makes me wonder about the future of books. Will my children ever want to read a 1000-plus-page book? When they read a news article, will they be willing to read beyond the headline to get the whole story?