Monday, August 16, 2010


I heard an announcer on CBC radio this weekend (For those of you in the UK CBC radio is the equivalent of BBC radio. For Those in the US: It's the equivalent of NPR) bemoaning the fact that because she has spent so much time googling and twittering that she can't get the concentration together to finish a whole book. She said this during an interview with a tech writer who brought up Nicholas Carr's article in the Atlantic Monthly "Is Google Making us Stupid?"

This is not the first time that I have heard an otherwise intelligent person complaining that their internet use is making them incapable of concentrating long enough to read a book.

To that, I say, unequivocably: Bullshit.

Frankly I was appalled that any intelligent person would try to argue that point. I cannot hide my contempt for anyone who would say something like that. It is merely an excuse for intellectual laziness. That's it, pure and simple. It is right up there with "My dog ate my homework."

I won't accept it.

If I go to the trouble of sustaining my attention long enough to write a novel (and I have written four*) then I expect that you can muster up the attention span to be able to read it. It's one thing if it doesn't interest you. You don't like my book, fine. It doesn't interest you, don't finish it. But don't come to me with the lame excuse that the internet is somehow to blame for you not being able to read a whole book.

Our brains are flexible. Our thought processes are shaped by our experiences and by what we concentrate upon. If we spend all day doing something, our brains adapt to do it more efficiently. That includes painting a house, fixing a car, or researching on the internet. But to say that those changes prevent you from switching gears, from mustering up the concentration to do something else, is ludicrous. We would not accept that argument from a teen who claims that playing video games makes him unable to study. I am certainly not going to accept that argument from a CBC radio announcer, nor anyone else.

The way I see it, if one can muster up the attention span to watch LOST for SIX YEARS(!) then that argument holds no sway with me.

End of rant

*unpublished as of yet

I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?

1 comment:

Pat Tillett said...

Amen to that! Loved the ending...

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