The Relevance of Reading in Todays World

Syringa Garcia

In a world filled with technology and social media, it’s easy to overlook the simple bound sheets of paper that collect dust in the corners of our storage shelves. Although reading isn’t a very popular way of passing the time anymore, it’s still a very important part of humanity. Social media is definitely the star of this time period. 

Recently, teens and young adults from the United States were surveyed. Out of them, less than 20 percent reported reading every day, and over 80 percent reported using social media daily. The average American spends six-hundred-eight hours yearly on social media. In that amount of time, the average person could read over two-hundred books easily. Why take a break from social media to read a book, though? 

Social media may be an easy way to pass time, but it has been found that the more people use social media, the more likely they are to report depression. Books are both entertaining and risk-free. Many people choose to use technology to read rather than, or along with, using it for social media, so technology shouldn’t be preventing people from reading, right? 

What reason is there for people to say reading is better than being on technology? According to a study in neuroscience, using a screen to read actually applies a different part of the brain than reading on paper. Screen reading stimulates the brain, making it more likely for a person to skim through a book. When people read from actual books they tend to slow down and concentrate on the story. This is called deep reading. 

When you really immerse yourself in a book, it’s like taking a portal to another world. It’s relaxing to get to take a break from the real world, which is what reading is for me. Is reading on an electronic device bad? No. I myself actually read on my phone from time-to-time when I can’t run to the library for whatever the reason may be. Reading in any form can be a fun way to pass the time; however, I don’t think tech should ever be a permanent replacement for physical books.