Page 12 - FIS World Oct 2019 Web
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 Lego Ergo Sum
Why writing about “Why Reading Matters”, matters
Writing Center Coordinator, Aodhnait Donnelly, works with students on a variety
of different projects
Reading critically has never been as critical as in our times. We live in a world where 86% of all people over the age of 15 are literate, more than 5
billion people have mobile phones, and 23 billion text messages are sent and received per day. Six billion emojis are embedded into communications daily as additional pseudo-text, as are the millions of GIF and short videos crossing the Internet every second. Our globally literate digital times are the era of “Scribo Ergo Sum” - I write, therefore I exist – where billions of people declare daily and abundantly “I exist” through bits typed on various media. In this climate, taking information at face value becomes a grab ‘n go survival must, critical reading and thinking flounder, us versus them factions flourish, and history is un-shelved from memory faster than fashion fads.
Current Grade 12 student, Naomi, the 2018/19 win- ner of the George Henning-Ross annual essay com- petition on the topic “Why Reading Matters”, recog- nizes the critical value of reading, especially in our times. In her essay, she asserts that reading is “the
key to understanding our past, our world and our- selves,” and observes that reading “has facilitated significant change throughout history and will con- tinue to do so.”
Naomi cites research showing that humans have a natural tendency to trust the written word, and ar- gues that “this trustworthiness makes reading per- suasive – and when people are persuaded, they act (...) The success of ‘fake news’ is an overwhelming example of how quickly we trust the written word and use it to influence others.” She believes that “in the age of technology, reading has become even more crucial,” and “Instead of allowing technology to diffuse our enjoyment of reading, we can use it to expand written knowledge, emotion and culture.”
The present scale and scope of online reading, writ- ing and publishing is cosmic and a radical depar- ture from the times when a powerful elite able to read and write interpreted and recorded the stories of humankind. Presently, the daily outpourings of
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