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.



  1. Jessica Deemer Reply

    I totally agree with how much of a distraction technology is! Whenever I am doing my homework, I just want to reach for my phone, because lets be honest, anything is more fun than studying! I do have to say, though, that I find myself wanting to use my phone no matter what device I’m reading on, print or digital. I think we are so used to checking our phones that we can’t help it. Its also so easy to pick up the phone and have a conversation with whoever you want, it literally takes two seconds. I don’t think I really realized how big of a distraction technology is until I started driving. My phone sits right next to me when I drive, and I’m sure everybody is like this too. Sometimes I have the urge to check it, but I know the consequences are not worth it.
    Reading online vs print is always going to be a preference; were never all going to be on the same page about it. However, it is comforting to see that people still enjoy reading physical copies of books. Mainly, for me anyway, I think this is because I sometimes get overwhelmed by how dependent our world is on technology. It’s refreshing to see people still hanging on to the “old school” methods.

  2. Bob Ryan Reply

    We have all been distracted by our technology while studying or doing work. With the increasing use of technology for our school work we always have it right there in front of us while we are trying to work so it gets to be difficult to stay focused solely on the work at hand. I think it is very interesting that with all of the technology available and the limitless access that comes with the technology that people still prefer to read print over reading something like an ebook.

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