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Technology and society

Magda Skrzypek
Media development worker

Prague-based media development worker from Poland with a journalistic background. Previously worked on digital issues in Brussels. Piqs about digital issues, digital rights, data protection, new trends in journalism and anything else that grabs my attention.

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piqer: Magda Skrzypek
Tuesday, 08 January 2019

Disruptive Technology: Why Your New Year's Resolution To Read More Might Not Stick

“Reading more” ranked seventh in the top ten New Year's resolutions according to a survey of 2,000 people mentioned by Inc Magazine. However, once the glow of a fresh new year wears off, a vast majority of us fail in our attempts: while 60% of us make some sort of New Year's resolution, only about 8% are successful in actually making good on their plans.

But maybe it isn’t just New Year's to-do lists fault that fulfilling the noble resolution of reading more is so hard to achieve. Maybe it is reading that is just harder than it used to be. In the US alone, the share of those “who read for pleasure on a given day has fallen by more than 30 percent since 2004,” as reported by the Washington Post. I myself dropped from 17 books read in 2017 to 15 books in 2018.

Still, this number that I started to keep track of at the beginning of 2017 only accounts for traditional paper-based books read cover to cover. It leaves out time spent going over news online, listening to audio podcasts, skimming through email newsletters or scrolling through Twitter, in other words, all those new ways of consuming information brought to us by the digital transition.

Evolution of our reading habits in the internet age is the topic of the most recent episode of Mozilla's IRL podcast, in which award-winning podcast host Manoush Zomorodi talks to journalists, librarians and tech practitioners, trying to figure out why reading isn't what it used to be and what we can do about it.

“We find out how our skimming habits trickle down and change the way writers work; we look at what happens when there’s just way, way too much to read; we ask if grabbing an old book off the shelf is still relevant; and then we meet someone who can help us wrangle all this reading abundance into something manageable and delightful,” Zomorodi introduces the episode.

This wonderfully voiced 25-minute show might be exactly the thing that will help you jump-start that New Year's resolution.

Disruptive Technology: Why Your New Year's Resolution To Read More Might Not Stick
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