28 July 2008

When reading isn't reading

The Sunday Times has a long article on the oft-debated effect of the internet on young people's reading ability. While it's somewhat tangential, this little note caught my eye.

But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount. The Web inspires a teenager like Nadia, who might otherwise spend most of her leisure time watching television, to read and write.
The topic of writing on the internet isn't discussed much, but I think it's important. I'd be interested to see an article on the effects of the web on kids writing for fun. I suspect it has increased noticeably. Granted, the current fads in social networking aren't as writing-intensive as earlier ones like Livejournal were, and there will always be protestations about the requisite bad grammar and usage, but that can always be corrected later. Getting kids comfortable with the idea of writing regularly is temporarily more important than flawless usage.