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Are smartphones really killing reading among young people ?

© Pexels/Rahul Shah

This is an editorial in the form of an alert published by Adam Kotsko, professor at North Central College in Illinois, on Slate. The latter, who has been teaching human sciences and philosophy for years, has noticed that his students are increasingly reluctant to read.

And the teacher clarified:

For most of my career, I&# I assigned approximately 30 pages of reading per class as a baseline expectation. Now students are intimidated by anything more than 10 pages and seem to shy away from readings as short as 20 pages.

Is the smartphone guilty?

So what happened to make these young people no longer want to read such long texts? According to the author of this article, school closures during the Covid pandemic have does a lot of harm to these students. He points to another culprit: smartphones which tend to reduce our reading stamina and our ability to concentrate, according to him.

He adds:

It's probably not a coincidence that the& #iPhone itself, originally launched in 2007, is approaching college age, which means professors are increasingly dealing with students who may have become addicted to the dose of dopamine from the omnipresent screen long before being initiated into the more subtle universe. pleasures of the page.

Finally, Adam Kotsko deplores that “their reading experience is constantly interrupted by their intentionally cultivated inability to process unfamiliar words”. The professor indicates his feeling is shared by most of the teachers around him.

To qualify this observation a little, we can recall this Ipsos survey carried out in 2022 which indicated that 80% of French 15-25 year olds cited reading as one of their hobbies. Moreover, smartphones and social networks can in turn become prescribers in terms of literature.

This is the case with booktoks, these videos broadcast on the social network TikTok where content creators broadcast book reviews. This hashtag is a phenomenon that has already accumulated hundreds of billions of views, and it is now taken very seriously by publishers and booksellers, because it allows many books to be highlighted that had previously gone unnoticed.

What to remember:

  • Teachers complain about the drop in reading levels among students
  • They point the finger in particular at smartphones and establishment closures during the COVID-19 pandemic Covid
  • Far from having disappeared, reading remains a very popular leisure activity for 15-25 year olds in France
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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116