Friday, August 28, 2009

Technology is allowing for a "literacy revolution"

According to this article at Wired, technology is not killing literacy, it's revolutionizing it.

According to a Stanford study, young people today are writing more than those of previous generations, and most of the time they are writing for an audience. Social networking sites, blogs, etc, base most interaction on the written word, and as a result young writers are becoming very adept at tailoring their writing to their audience.

I wonder what effect this will have (if any) on long-form writing. Are today's young writers more confident in their writing skills, and therefore more likely to tackle the daunting task of writing a novel? Or has technology shortened their attention spans to Twitter-like soundbites and Facebook memes?

Perhaps more importantly to aspiring novelists today, what is the effect of technology on the reading habits of the younger generation? I would guess that the amount of reading being done goes hand-in-hand with the amount of writing, but what is being read? Short blog entries, Facebook wall postings, novels?

I'd love to see Stanford follow up their writing study with a reading study.

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