I would have started this sentence earlier, but I got distracted. Sorry that was corny but appropriate. The technological world we are growing up in is different than anyone born before 1990 or so. Why is that? It is because we grew up with this never before seen technology. Now we have phones that can send instant messages or pictures. Oh yeah, then there is social media. Social media has been the distraction champion every since it was created and will most likely never be dethroned. I’d be willing to bet that within the last week you were distracted by something on social media while working or doing homework. These distractions do not seem like a big deal but it could affect how we learn.
Lets start off by saying that we can all agree that overall, studying is not fun. Wouldn’t you rather be with friends or watching TV? Well the sad reality of that is that we can’t always have that. Adam Gazzaley stated in a interview that “When we switch between tasks, we suffer a degradation of performance.” For every distraction that we come across can slowly make us less likely to perform our current task at a high level. This does not just apply to work, it also applies to everyday tasks like driving. Texting and driving is very dangerous and checking your phone once to see what Billy Bob had to say could alter your life or someone else’s.
Digital distractions are not the only thing that can slow down the learning process. Today, we can read articles online for a class instead of having to buy the book. Yes! We all get to save money now, but it still comes at a cost. In the article “A textbook dilemma: Digital or paper?” The author (Claudia Wallis) says that Patricia Alexander, educational psychologist, discovered that out of “878 potentially relevant studies published between 1992 and 2017, only 36 directly compared reading in digital and in print and measured learning in a reliable way.” So 842 studies say the opposite. If that does not say something then I don’t know what else would. It all comes down to personal opinion on what you prefer, but studies do indicate that we should all consider studying print instead of digital text.I personally find it easier to study off of a text book. I will say however that in some cases I do prefer reading online. For the most part I find it easier to read on paper.
Now, you would think that in this digital age that reading online would be more popular and would arise a problem right? Well not necessarily, actually it is the other way around. In the article “Book Reading 2016” that “Nearly four-in-ten Americans read print books exclusively; just 6% are digital-only book readers.” However a 26% of Americans do not read a book at all. So 38% of Americans prefer books in print than digitally. Thankfully that trend isn’t going anywhere, for now.
At least we know that people so far are sticking to the old fashion way. As time goes on it will be interesting to see if people start shifting towards digital learning, reading and writing. Maybe technology will change and we may see that learning, reading and writing can be scientifically proven to be better. For now, I am content with how it is now.