In class the other day, we were discussing how poems and plays are read less and less and seen as less important. While I don’t disagree with this, I just thought of an interesting short anecdote I would like to share.
I am an avid Pinterest-er. I, like most millennial ‘basic’ girls, happen to have a quote board on said Pinterest page. Through this, I started seeing a lot of quotes that I liked by a specific author. I ended up buying two of her books that were a collection of poems! So I think it is interesting that digital technology, specifically a form of social media, made me more interested in poems than I had ever been previously.
It’s hard not to think about how you are currently reading as you read an article titled “How We Read” about the differences in the way read print versus digital texts. I found that a lot of what the article discussed was true. My attention span is shorter online. I think it’s partly because staring at a screen hurts my eyes more than staring at a page. But the distractions embedded online are certainly the largest reason why reading digital texts are harder than print. Even though the article was a pdf with no links, images, or interactive content, I still found myself getting distracted. I took several breaks to check Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and after each section I allowed myself to watch one YouTube video as a reward for getting through it. Why do I need to reward myself for getting though a section that is only a few pages long? I also found myself reaching for a snack perhaps because my hands weren’t occupied with holding open a book since I was reading on my laptop which can stay open on its own and only needs a short flick of the finger to move to the next page. One thing is for sure, I am definitely a distracted reader online.
I’ll admit, I am slightly concerned about generating a 50,000 word novel from code. I’m not used to code and they certainly don’t teach it here at Hogwarts! I wish I could simply cast a spell and have it done for me. But that would violate the Honor Code, not teach me anything, and be an easy way out. I appriaictae a good challenge every now and then, but this seems like it will be a huge challenge that I’m hesitant to take on. I’m hoping that we’ll learn more about coding and be offered some tutorials before we’re tasked with starting the assignment. For now, I’m just going to explore code that other people have written and take my weekend easy.
Today’s exercise that we did in class kept me on my toes, but like Alexandria, I’m not sure how I felt about it. On one hand, it was engaging and interactive. On the other hand, it was very stressful waiting to see if anyone would speak and trying to make sure what we were reading didn’t scroll up and away. I think it was more about the interactivity of the piece rather than what it was about, but that’s just my take on it!