Changing Reading Habits

e-reading on smart phones and other electronic devices is becoming more popular.


Social media has changed the face of communication to an incredible extent. We are updated with the latest happenings like never before; social media has in a way pushed media to be the secondary source of information.
Twitter and Facebook have become fast and cheapest mode of communication. Now people share information while updating posts on their Twitter and Facebook pages. This has changed the lifestyle of people and one of these changes is that students have changed their reading habits. Now one prefers to read things on the Internet and e-reading is more popular through smart phones and other electronic devices.
From school going children to university students and scholars, all are immensely benefited by internet. They get plenty of information as text and visuals on the desired topic by typing a word or a line about it. The search engines extract all available information for the users instantly. It becomes easier for a student to know more about the topic in seconds without wasting his or her precious time in searching the desired information from books.
 “I feel social media and e-books, e-journals and e-magazines have to a large extent democratized reading and information. You no longer have a few people now sitting in ivory towers and judging and deciding upon what people should be reading,” says Showkat Shafi, Media Professional and Astt Dean Student Welafare, University of Kashmir. He further elaborates:
“The scope of reading sources has changed drastically in the Internet revolution to include websites, web pages, e-books, e-journals, e-papers, e-mail, discussion boards, chat rooms, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, and other multimedia documents. Now the potential reader can access and browse the online information from the whole web while using his/her terminal at home. This way the reader and students especially take the benefits of what is being termed as knowledge explosion. But at the same time, I strongly believe that for academics and students the e-book and social media culture have few problems which need to be addressed...that touch of hard bound book is missing. The most important of all is people no longer prefer to be in libraries for serious reading, that ambiance of library, togetherness of scholars in library is missing in e-books and e-journals. Generally speaking, I believe like many  people , that the younger generation growing up in the digital environment lacks the ability to read deeply and to sustain a prolonged engagement in reading.”
The adoption of the mobile phone and social media by young people is a global phenomenon. It is now an integral part of adolescents’ daily lives. In fact, the mobile phone has turned from a technological tool to a social tool.
Tahir Rehman, a businessman says: “with the global change of reading short stuff via social media, the capacity to read longer version of stories finds no place. Habit of reading intellectual stuff requires a positive environment; people of America and Europe even though advanced than us in the field of technology are also the bestselling markets for literature and art as they know the importance of it. So you can never blame alternatives responsible for changing your habits, though they play a role.”
Here is another opinion by a university scholar: “Social media helped me a lot during the completion of my M.Phil programme through University of Kashmir. It gave me a lot of exposure; I met many dignitaries in real life which are related to my field of study through facebook. It was all due to social media that I came to know about them. I learned lot of things via various groups on facebook like Kashmir Birdlife, Help wildlife of Kashmir, Conservation of Wildlife of Kashmir etc. I surveyed literature related to my topic Bird diversity of Dachigam National Park on internet. It saved me lot of time. I was interacting with experienced personalities of my field through electronic mailing, it would not have been possible for me to interact with them because of their busy daily schedules,” says Wani Raashid who recently completed his M.Phil from University of Kashmir.
Farhat Umar, final year student of BVSc&AH at SKUAST Jammu, says something similar: “Earlier, I used to devote leisure to magazines, novels and newspapers but after I signed up on social net sites my times just vapourized. Most of the times I end up online in classrooms and even in e-libraries.”
Social media and Internet is doing wonders in education and other fields and is helping a lot in our studies and our daily affairs. We must utilize it in positive way so as to reap its benefits and must not misuse it.
Arshad Bhat is GK Izhar Wani internee.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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