Thursday, April 23, 2015

To Read or to Watch?


I see an alarming rise in video broadcasting vs reading. News is now aired (live or taped) on the internet instead of typed so readers are not left much of a choice but to watch the news instead of reading it themselves.

When did this trend of visualizing news replace the ever appreciable written format of news? Some people want to just kick back and read the day’s headlines at their own pace instead of watching it read out by a pretty face on screen.

I remember there was a debate on whether kids should learn cursive hand writing at all as their future has no place for cursive handwriting. Kids nowadays are taught how to type as more of the homework finds its way online. Paper home-works are soon to become obsolete just like cursive handwriting. I was shocked when my kindergartner was told to take a test using the computer. I mustered courage and told the teacher that I am an old fashioned mom that limits computer-time so my little one will not have the same proficiency with the computers and the mouse compared to the other wiz-kids. She looked at me and then said not to worry as he’ll learn soon enough. And he did as all the school homework was given online.

I still try to limit my kids exposure but I wonder for how long can I succeed? I recall reading how Steve Jobs limited his children’s time with the iPad and other technology. After all, having a rich imagination is important and it should not be killed or wasted with toying around doing nothing…The whole world is changing whether we like it or not. I still want my kids to learn hand writing as I believe it’s a basic skill. I still want them to learn typing. I still want them to learn how to read instead of watch and listen to what is read to them.

In the process of creating ease and comfort, I hope the world doesn't kill itself. This all reminds me of the Disney animated movie Wall-e; how life on an outer space ship with all the comforts offered through automated systems made the people ‘morbidly obese’, unable to do the simplest of activities such as walking,  lazy, dumb and incapable of thinking on their own…. What a sad state of affairs we are all headed towards……………..

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