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So Dr. Boli [http://drboli.wordpress.com] is at it again with his sometimes bizarre, sometimes comic, and sometimes delightfully pointed sense of fun. Are the following advertisements from his Celebrated Magazine poking fun at our pretty much illiterate generation? Just maybe.
- “The Blandville Branch Library will offer a one-hour talk entitled “What Is a Book?” on Saturday, May 2, at 1 p.m. The audience will have the opportunity to see and handle several books after the talk.”
- “THE BLANDVILLE BRANCH Library will be having a Giant Book Sale beginning Monday and continuing until all the books are gone. The Library staff have decided that the Library can no longer afford to maintain a collection of books when computer workstations are so expensive.”
- “The Community Television Viewers’ Association will be offering a free workshop all day Tuesday. With the Internet rapidly overtaking television in popularity, we are concerned that the skills required to absorb purely passive entertainment are being lost. Third-generation television viewers will be on hand to teach you the secrets to a rewardingly inert television-viewing experience. “
One reader funnily commented about the last two announcements, ”I fear that you may have inadvertently posted real news in the [above] paragraphs. Please try harder at parody and satire in the future.”
The Bottom Line: People do not read anymore; instead, they spend time on distracting social networking sites like Facebook. This has disastrous effects on personal lives. This will have a disastrous effect on culture at large. If reading continues to decrease and writing to deteriorate, we shall all soon be certifiable barbarians. Which somehow doesn’t appeal to me.
Are you aware that 20% of our high school graduates can be classified as functionally illiterate?
Does this perhaps have something to do with the fact that boys and girls read, on average, a mere 30-40 minutes a day?
Compare this with the fact that American children ages 8-18 devote about 8 hours a day to entertainment media (television, computers, smart phones, etc.) Keep in mind that this does not take texting and talking on the phone into consideration.
You just can’t have it all. If it’s true that you don’t have to burn the books to destroy a culture, you just have to stop people from reading them, then we’re not looking at a pleasant future. And really, if you are spending eight hours a day on “entertainment media”, when are you engaging your mind in real learning? I think this helps to explain the quality (well, lack thereof) of the kind of conversation that takes place on Facebook.