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Books, Fostering In-Depth Knowledge

By Vasilka Atanasova
On September 28, 2010

Many studies have been conducted in order to prove that the access to computers and internet declines students' performance in many areas. And they have done so. Researchers have concluded that kids with access to computers and internet have significantly lower scores in reading and math. Some might say that college students are a different area, but how much? What do we use the computers and internet for most of the time? What type of information are we used to seeing online? And asking the same questions about books, what would the answers be?

Just think about it. You see something, you read from it, you touch it, you fold the corner of a page where you have hit a great quote, you also underline, highlight, mark down with stars or any other artistic symbols you have in mind at the moment and the process of reading has just become a whole new creative experience. Would you not remember what you just read? You will, if not everything, then the most important information, because you have probably highlighted it. Because you have touched this at so many levels, physical and psychological, in ways that you cannot experience when reading on the computer.

The Internet is an immense source of information. However, researchers have proven that only three percent of it is actually true. Internet is there to cover everything, which means chaos. A book is ‘here', in your hands, to cover the subject you need. This means order. It is an in depth reading, while most online publications are not. Internet changes the way we think, act and study. They makes us demand more and on a faster pace from the people and environment surrounding us; making us believe that if we do not remember it now, we can always Google it.

Computers and The Internet, by simply making a lot of information available change our perception of how things should happen in life and how they actually happen – This idea of the constant one-click access of information deludes our brains into believing that we have learned something, when in fact we have not; we have only read it. Because we can always go and find it a second time, we do not put much effort in remembering it. The effort you employ to do something plays an enormous role in how you do it and what the effects are.

Remember that the great minds of the centuries became such by reading real books, written on real paper and doing physical experiments, not sitting in front of a computer.

I do not deny the power of technology in our lives and the tremendous help it lends. The fact that we can access thousands of scientific studies, journals and articles through the school's library is such an aid for students, but you cannot deny that most of us use the computer and internet for socializing and having fun, or just to quickly peak at the most important news of the day. That is what we are used to when surfing the internet, nothing too deep and engaging. The Internet world, multi-effective, multi-linking and hyper-interactive is leading us to a destructive model of learning and behaving. We should employ both media to help us study, but foster love toward the deep and lasting knowledge we have to plunge into the depths of books.

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