Skimming more, comprehending less

Interesting column by Joan Silverman and blog item by Amy Gahran on Contentious Weblog about the loss of comprehension of reading online compared with the printed editions. Tip: Smart Mobs

Silverman writes: “When I canceled my subscription to the hard-copy edition of the newspaper, I never looked back — that is, until a recent morning. I opened my e-mail headlines from the daily paper and spotted a half-dozen stories of interest. As I looked at the articles, however, I found that several were fairly long. Suddenly I felt a sense of dread, as if reading had become a form of punishment.

“And there’s the rub. For anything beyond casual browsing or skimming, I think I may hate the computer.”

“Yes, I’m much more of a skimmer than I was a decade ago,” Gahran writes. Then concludes: “There is no shame in being a news skimmer, as long as you still know how to dive deep when it matters, and are willing to take that plunge.”

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