Monday, May 5, 2014

Books Aren't Just For Nerds

Why You Should Force Yourself To Read

In this fast-paced world of instantaneous entertainment: humor is king and thrill is queen. Advertisements, shows, even the news, relies on humor or a "shock and awe" element. People seek to be entertained through other people's wit or thrilled by living vicariously through the onscreen adventures that they themselves will never experience.

There are four main problems that arise with onscreen entertainment and four reasons why you should force yourself to read instead of turning to the newest season of Mad Men.

#1 - False World
The world provided by movies and TV shows is a scripted, literally staged, and costumed world that cannot be obtained in real life, yet it is especially crafted to appeal to people and draw them in. It is a let down that is very subtle as people don't realize where the sense of inadequacy stems from.
Books, on the other hand, are an extension of your own world as you put imagery from your life experiences into the narrative of the book rather than supplementing your experiences with fabricated imagery.

#2 - Attention Span
Long attention spans (including mine) are becoming rare commodities. The prevalence of movies, TV shows, and internet memes contribute to the decay in attention spans. As the narrative of someone's story can be portrayed in either a 90 minute movie or 45 minute TV show, it doesn't require the viewer to commit to the experience to several days of getting to know the characters and walking through their thought processes from the inside out like a book does. Forcing yourself to read, is making yourself commit to only looking at words on a page--no multitasking.

#3 - Spoon-fed Entertainment
Movies, TV shows, and the endless pages of internet humor require little interaction with the content. Books, on the other hand, require imagination, reading comprehension, and focus.

#4 - De-Sensitivication
This element not only applies to viewing graphic content but also becoming de-sensitized to the incredible elements that should inspire awe (such as the acrobatics people are able to do thanks to computer graphics). But when people read, their imagery is contained to what they themselves have experienced.

I challenge you to pick up a book and really try to sit down and finish it. I believe that you will see an improvement in your mood and attention span.

Whatever your educational background is, I hope you enjoyed reading this homeschooler's thoughts. 
Live long and prosper, 

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