People of the Screen
“People of the Screen,” is to me, a highly biased opinion piece on what Christine Rosen calls the death of “print literacy”. She believes that what she calls “digital literacy,” will soon completely take the place of books. I have to highly disagree with her. The internet and other such technologies have opened man kinds eyes to entirely new way of receiving, gathering, and sharing information, but no website, television show, or technological device will ever take over the place of a book. Books have been for hundreds of years the only possible way to track and record history. I can argue this because in the last hundred years books have continued to be printed and published in higher numbers consistently.
Christine also brings to light some studies that were done showing that an individual who does leisure reading is technically more engaged in every day life. I can agree that a person who reads more might possibly be more well versed in the knowledge that surrounds all of us, but I find it really hard to believe that there is a connection between leisure reading and being an engaged citizen.
I also admire her stance that reading for pleasure is a characteristic that is instilled at a very young age and the determining factor is ultimately the parents. The parents should be responsible for helping their children grow intellectually by reading to and providing books to their children. I think everyone can agree that you are more likely to succeed in life if you can read and write.
I say that this piece is biased because Christine throws some tid bits in the article about supporters of a “digital literacy” over that of “print literacy,” but she quickly disregards that which those supporters have to say as obtuse and misguided. She talks about the screen as some thing that has only brought destruction to the age of books. In many ways the Internet and TV have opened an entirely new and innovative way for people to learn. I can agree that reading on the screen can be somewhat distracting sometimes, but it is often useful to have several windows open doing multiple things at once. It is called multi tasking and it is the reason why human beings are at the top of the food chain.
I believe that reading from a book is a great and probably one of the best ways to learn about something, but Rosen describes it, as the end all, be all. When a supporter suggests that the screen also offers an innovative way to learn something based on putting yourself in the position of a character in video games or something of the sort, Rosen quickly denies this saying that when trying to learn in this form, the person in control and cannot possibly learn anything because of this. She suggests that in a book when must first surrender any consumptions that they might have had and accept that they are not in control, that they are the novice and the writer is the ultimate teacher.
I think the article is very well written and that she makes some good point that I myself can definitely back up, because I too am a firm believer in the power of the word in its oldest from. But to say that nothing is to be gained from the screen is absurd. I believe as some do in the article that the two can coincide and that they can build off of each other seeing as how things today are so utterly interdependent in the world we live in.