No one’s reading – and now no one’s writing either?

By Andrew on 30th March 2024 — 2 mins read

The internet’s packed with information, but no one is really reading much of it anymore. Instead of diving deep into articles, most of us are just skimming the headlines or looking for bullet points. This shift hasn’t gone unnoticed. Content creators are keeping things simpler, aiming for content that’s easy to digest, knowing that’s what gets the most eyes. It makes sense, but it’s also leading us down a path we might not really want. A smarter, targeted, personalised internet. A dumber humanity.

As we rely more on quick snippets of information, there’s a concern that we’re moving away from the deeper thinking that reading and writing foster. What’s more, with AI stepping in, we will see even less human writing on the web. Smarter tech that takes away the dull, dirty and dangerous tasks – but also takes away the horror of actually having to think.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Despite this trend, there are still vibrant communities and platforms where the love for reading and writing is alive and well.

Where Hope Lies

**1. Online Book Clubs and Literary Sites**

Places like Goodreads or the book discussions on Reddit are thriving with people eager to talk about books. These online communities are proof that the passion for reading isn’t just surviving; it’s flourishing. They’re spaces where people share book recommendations, dive into deep discussions, and encourage each other to explore new genres.

**2. Writing Together Online**

Creative writing isn’t going anywhere, thanks to sites like Wattpad and Archive of Our Own. These platforms are all about user-generated stories, ranging from fan fiction to original works. They’re not just about posting stories; they’re communities where writers support each other, offering feedback and motivation. It shows that writing, especially when done together, is still very much a part of our digital world.

**3. Free Learning and Open Resources**

With the rise of open-access journals, free online courses (like MOOCs), and projects like Gutenberg, knowledge is more accessible than ever. These initiatives are tearing down the walls that keep people from learning and contributing to human knowledge. They represent the important view that everyone deserves access to learning, no matter where they are or how much money they have.

Wrapping Up

I find it a bit too easy to get caught up in worries about the decline of deep reading and writing, but it’s important to remember the ways the internet has brought humanity together. It’s been a space for solidarity, for learning en masse, and for collective action. As we think about the future of the internet, let’s remember its potential to unite us, to spark change, and to foster a global community. Whether it’s through joining hands in political movements, supporting each other in forums, or sharing knowledge freely, the internet continues to be a place where meaningful connections are made. It’s these connections that hold the promise of not just a smarter internet, but a wiser, more united humanity.

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