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Web addiction and dumbing down of the universe

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Read this interesting post by George Parker, the vitriolic ad veteran and it struck a chord again. I have stopped reading books of late. I can’t remember the last book I read. I have at least 5 books that were bought in the recent past but remain unopened. This is not something new. The reason: an affliction I called Webatitis.

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I find even the McKinsey Quarterly’s and HBR’s of the world difficult to read now, leave alone books. When I come across an interesting article on the internet, my first instinct is to share it on Twitter – not to delve into the article and read the subtext. So it’s all about speed, at the cost of assimilation. With tonnes of RSS feeds to read and links popping every second on Twitter, there is no chance in hell that all that content will be read.

Even when surfing the web, scanning the content superficially has become the norm and I have lost the patience to go through heavy or erudite stuff. Blame it on technology? I am sure I am not alone. Those who are a couple of decades younger than me have grown up or growing up on Facebook, Myspace, Orkut and Twitter. With due credit to their multi-tasking ability, I am sure it takes a toll on quality imbibing of content.

The effect is all around us. Text messages, news, reality shows, Tweets have all been dumbed down. Mindless prattle over substance. To quote George Parker: the over reliance of technology is destroying literacy amongst the young. And paradoxically, there is so much to read. Which reminds me, today’s TOI is lying unread and I have just scanned the pages of today’s DNA. I am sure there is a way out of this. Let me Google that.

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A marketing communications professional with a keen interest in all things advertising. I share creative ads and views on the ad industry here. Views are personal. See Disclaimer for more.

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