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Information Overload

leamirella's picture

My title pretty much expresses how I feel about the subject: there is way too much for me to process right now.

I really thought that Hayles' essay about how we read is really interesting. The distinction between close reading and hyper reading has never been something that has occurred to me. However, as she described the reading types, I knew that I had the ability to use both. I think both types of reading are useful in their own ways as it really depends on the genre of the text being read, the reader themselves and the purpose of the reading. I will admit that I speed read many of sociology texts last semester - I had tight time constraints so this was the only way to do this while having time for other things. Novels that I read for fun, texts that are really difficult to access (like Haraway), I tend to close read.

I really do not think that the movement from hyperreading to close reading is a crisis. Hyperreading has its own benefits and rather than view it as a problem, I think that we should start teaching students how to use it, when it is appropriate to use it and how it will benefit their education. I also really don't think that this an international crisis in anyway - Hayles makes the point that hyper reading becomes more frequent as print media and printed literature declines. Not all countries have declining print media - in fact, researchers have found that in order for print media to decline, there has to be 30% internet access in a country. There are still many countries that have not yet reached this 30%.

I'm throughly enjoying this topic however challenging as it might be because I feel that the questions that we are raising will have to be answered by our own generation.

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