Since the internet has expanded to almost everywhere in the world, there has been an ongoing debate about whether reading and writing online is bad for our deep thinking, or just a new way to help grow our imaginations. Nicholas Carr explains his hate toward the internet in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid” but Kathleen Fitzpatrick expresses her love for reading and writing online in her article “Reading and Writing Online, Rather than in Decline”. Being in an age of technology reading online is a relevant topic that I can relate to since I use the internet on a daily basis. Flowrestling, an online wrestling site full of articles, is a big outlet for my online reading. I will always scroll through the endless pages of articles Willie, one of the editors on the website, post always getting a hilarious spin on the wrestling news around the world. Through reading Flowrestling articles I sympathize with Fitzpatrick’s points that online reading involves community, convenience, and portrays the overall amount of readers online global in size.
The internet is thought to have decreased the amount of reading people do, but this has been misinterpreted since more people read online than ever before. Carr makes the points in his argument that reading online has shaped everyone’s minds to not be able to dive into long text and immerse themselves with the reading. According to Carr, concentrating on long reading is impossible because any vital information needed is only one Google search away. Fitzpatrick refutes Carr’s point saying people not reading as much is a misconception, but they’re just reading more in new fast paced ways: “Given the fact that Westerns who are active on the Internet arguably read more in their daily lives than they ever have before”. Fitzpatrick demonstrates even though there might be a decline in the amount of physical novels there is not a decline in reading as a whole. Flowrestling has been a way for me to consume much of my online reading on a daily basis. I scroll through my Instagram, a source of social media, seeing on Flowrestling’s page a new article was posted, then I proceed to immerse myself on the site reading many articles. Once I read an article about the United States World Team Member, Jordan Burroughs the four time World Champion and 2012 Olympic Champion. Then I clicked on another article about the rankings of all the United States World Team Members. Moving from one article to the next I spiraled into loads of reading without noticing. Reading online increased my reading to an everyday activity. People read through many outlets such as blogs, ebooks, and articles, online reading has spike reading to all people in the world with access to the internet.
Online reading has grown in large amounts because of the community that comes with it. Most all of online readings have a comment section, which incites a community. Spending so much time online on social media may seem like a waste of time and not beneficial, but while I look at posts I actively read and write comments. Today I read an article on Flowrestling about the World Championships asking people of the internet community which wrestler they thought was going to win. The comments were flooded with how some people thought James Downey the underdog, was going to win, along with many other World Team Members. The community of wrestlers from around the world commenting on their favorite wrestlers brought a sense of community and even made reading fun. The internet has opened up reading to me as a more entertaining and engaging way to gain information. Reading online has definitely helped me read a lot more than I would have without it.
Convenience is the most prevalent reason reading online has progressed to a mainstream activity. Carr even admits that reading online is convenient making more people read. Carr makes a great point when he says, “A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after”. He explains that more people are seeking to use the internet for research because of the internet’s easy use. Carr believes this fast pace reading is shaping his mind to also seek convenience, and he cannot keep his mind concentrated on long articles or novels. Fitzpatrick also believes in the convenience of the internet accessed through social media platforms. She explains the social media site Twitter holds many online scholarly reading and writing, “The standard dismissal of Twitter as a scholarly tool, for instance, suggest that no serious argument can be made in 140 characters”. She portrays that although social media platforms can just be dismissed as a waste of time, scholarly work is done on them everyday. Because most people around the world have some type of social media, many people debate and have conversations regularly. Reaching into my pocket I can pull out the internet where I take part in reading many Flowrestling articles, so therefore I read and write consistently everyday. This sort of ready availability is exactly what Carr points out about reading online because of convenience. While Carr believes convenience cuts away at our deep thought, I think it gives more opportunity to reading and writing in more engaging ways. Being able to have the entire internet in your pocket makes most everyone use it constantly, which leads to move overall reading.
Fitzpatrick and Carr both make insightful arguments giving details to support both claims. While reading online may seem to cut down on the amount of physical novels being read, it does not reduce the amount of reading being done everyday. Reading has increased through the internet having platforms such as social media, online blogs, and ebooks. Carr points out the internet is just a place of convenience and no deep reading is ever done on it, but Fitzpatrick argues convenience leads to community and more over all reading. I agree with Fitzpatrick’s idea of community in online reading leads to more reading overall because it has lead to more reading not only in my life but to many others around the world.
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. “Reading (and Writing) Online, Rather Than on the Decline.” Reading (and Writing) Online, Rather Than on the Decline, 2012, www.dropbox.com/s/1521lrhxqthxn6t/Fitzpatrick.pdf?dl=0.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 13 June 2018, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/.
Honor Code: DB