Sample Essay on How is the digital culture affecting reading

How is the digital culture affecting reading?


The 21st century is marked by advances in technology affecting a wide scope of human life including education. Approximately 250 years ago, ancient Greek philosophers wrote much about the unknown factors that future technologies or ‘cultural and technical innovation’ would have on human communications (Dehaene, 32). Their concerns were placed on the potential of changing the processes of acquiring as well as passing knowledge through writing and more significantly reading. The digital era considering the use of tools such as the internets as well as smart devices has changed how individuals pass knowledge from person to person. In reference to the above text, this paper is set to pride a comprehension of how reading has changed in the digital age.


The passing of information from medieval or primal times has changed drastically with the advancement of technology. The shift from oral to written word was the first technological advancement in passing information consequently restructuring human cognition unknowingly. According to (Manguel, 26), prior to writing the earlier generations has perceived as well as shared knowledge though rhetoric as well as memory factors rendered irrelevant when writing was introduced. Nonetheless, with writing came reading, which unlike oral language, which is natural making it quick to acquire, and relatively uncomplicated, reading is effortful as well as time consuming (Dehaene, 37). Reading is currently known as the paramount method of conceptualization of literacy, which compared to oral language background, has changed and needed a fresher cognitive acquisition mode. However, literacy in the 21st century has also changed, suggesting a change in reading.

The digital culture is referred to as the contemporary phase of the information era or communication technology. As explained, the reading made oral traditional means of learning less significant considering the level of literacy. It can be argued as time passed the requirements of literacy increased making reading, which requires significant effort even harder than before. The introduction of the internet however changed this considering the amount of information as well as the ease in access any individual can find in finding data. The reading of this material also changed (Miller, 23). Considering traditional manuscripts were written according to the language they originated from for instance scripts from the traditional UK had wording the US individuals had a harder time comprehending what was being conveyed. However, with the digital culture emergence different versions of similar books have been presented to the public and made it easier to read what once was not saving time as well as energy and increasing literacy.  According to (Gere, 25) one of the standout feature about what is referred as digital culture is the variety of media and from the text provided the property of ‘e-books’ is what has made versions of previously printed manuscripts transformation has changed the reading culture. Individuals do not need to be in a library to have access to a large quantity of books one can be on a park bench and have three or four books on a screen this consequently changing the reading culture.

The digital culture has also introduced the use of signs and short hand that has affected learning. The introduction of a number of inexpensive devices such as smartphones as well as tablets and other form of portable computerized equipment have increased the use of social networking platforms such as Facebook and twitter which have a different code of writing. According to Cohen, and Thomas (29), the web 2.0 phenomenon has allowed different individuals to be creators as well as publishers consequently developing new ways to communicate that have affected reading. The Use of short hand messages such as ASAP, BTW and the likes are frequently used by the social media community and have affected reading (Gere, 18). Other than words, reading in the social media realms has also taken up the use of signs popularly known as ‘emoji’. According to Lucas (55), reading is a cognitive aspect of transforming words into variety perspectives a faction currently being used in form of emoji.

In summary the early Greek philosophers suggested that as the society adopted the new technologies the human mind would be altered changing how people conduct themselves a factor that has influenced education majorly reading. During the medieval period, oral traditional means were used to transfer knowledge from generation to generation. However, with the introduction of writing considering the literacy needs at the time oral learning methods were reduce in significance. This sift was met with high acceptance considering it coveres much of the learning needs then. However, as time went by the hardships of reading became evident considering reading skills are effortful and time consuming. This factor was then changed by the introduction of the internet to public use making reading much easier than before. The introduction of social media platform similarly introduces a new age of reading that included the use of shorthand words as well as signs popularly known as emoji

Work Cited

Miller, Vincent. Understanding digital culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2011.

Cohen, James, and Thomas Kenny. Producing New and Digital Media: Your Guide to Savvy Use of the Web. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2015.

Manguel, Alberto. A History of Reading. New York: Penguin Books, 2014. Internet resource.

Dehaene, Stanislas. Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of a Human Invention. New York: Viking, 2009. Print.

Gere, Charlie. Digital Culture. London: Reaktion Books, 2002. Print.

Lucas, Gavin. The Story of Emoji. New York: Prestel Publishing, 2016. Print.