Books possess a reliability that simply cannot be replicated with the internet.
When it comes to reading, the benefits of curling up to your favourite book remain unmatched to that of the online world. Books have the ability to inspire, educate, and entertain in a way that has worked for centuries, way before the internet even began to take shape.
However, when books are pitted against the World Wide Web, one does tend to wonder what exactly the pitfalls of the online world are.
Are books better than the internet?
Books are generally better than the internet. Books include benefits like relaxing your mind and body, increase focus and expand vocabulary that internet never gives.
Why does internet suck when compared to books?
While the internet is a space with what seems like an unlimited amount of information all at our fingertips, it poses its own set of problems that continue to deeply affect the state of our minds every day.
Over the years, research on the effects of the internet have exploded in quantity because of the increased amount of time that humans continue to dedicate to the internet.
Studies have shown that there are detrimental effects of being too connected. It is certainly no secret that social media platforms can lead to an increased susceptibility to mental health problems like depression and anxiety for a number of reasons.
The internet is the perfect place for trolls and bullies to make their mark anonymously.
Personal information is increasingly at risk of falling in the hands of people with ulterior motives. Identity theft and viruses are a constant threat if you don’t know what you are doing when it comes to your online presence.
Too much time spent on the internet has been linked with health issues like heart problems and obesity.
There is a myriad of cons when it comes to the internet that can seriously harm a person.
Books, however, avoid all of these negatives because of the fact that there are no strings attached. A book is simply as is, with no lingering threat of someone trying to steal your information or cyberbully you.
Many people take comfort with books because they provide entertainment and education in a safe way.
They are a great distraction from stress and reading can even have meditative qualities. When it comes to the internet, while the risk factor is relatively low for most average users, that is not to say that threats do not exist. In fact, online threats are very real, especially if you are not careful and educated on how to spot sinister activities.
How does social media affect reading?
Social media is all about instant gratification. The notifications that light up our screens alerting us of new comments, new likes, and new videos fulfill our desires for a distraction and gives us that hit of dopamine that makes us feel good.
New content is constantly being churned out every day and at every hour on platforms like YouTube and Facebook. With apps like TikTok and Instagram featuring entertaining and fun content in the format of thirty second videos, most people are all too familiar with a few minutes of screen time turning into hours of aimless scrolling.
Being able to switch seamlessly between all of these different apps cultivates our short attention spans. Without realizing it, you’ve spent half your day on your cellphone seeking the next hit of dopamine and satisfaction.
These apps are also popular, free, and available for anyone with a cellphone and internet connection. With the internet being so accessible, there are no rules to hold anyone back and everyone is invited.
When it comes to reading, however, it requires your utmost attention for extended periods of time. This is something that most of us tend to struggle with. We crave that instant hit of dopamine that keeps us scrolling, which maintains our attention and makes us lose track of time.
Books are a slow burn version of this because satisfaction tends to hit after you have finished that 300-page novel. The appeal simply is not there when compared to the internet, where we are instantly rewarded and constantly being fed content that is new and exciting to consume.
Books need time to be fully savoured and appreciated, and reading is often cast aside in favour of the internet because it just takes too long.
But the internet is better than book when…
There is no denying that the technological developments of the internet have made significant and incredibly important advancements in our society today. Through the power of the internet, we are all more connected than ever with access to information in the palm of our hands.
Our smart devices grow smarter each day, and tech companies continue to improve and innovate the technology that makes our lives more convenient.
It definitely beats the days of having to reference a dictionary or an encyclopedia for information. A quick Google search will usually yield the information you are looking for in under ten seconds.
There are also no limitations on the internet. Anything and everything can be put out on the internet, whereas the process of creating a book takes much longer. A book goes through months of development before it becomes the final version that we see in bookstores.
What’s so great about books that internet will never give you?
Books are a great stress reliever. The internet is extremely fast paced, which allows us to have all of the information in the world at the tip of our fingers.
This, however, can sometimes get quite overwhelming. With everything moving so quickly and constantly grabbing our attention, this can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you have been staring at a screen all day. Books are a great way to go offline, destress, and relax, while also being productive to some capacity.
A common misconception is that books and reading is socially isolating. But the reality is that books are an incredible tool for fostering relationships in your life.
Book clubs are a great way to get connected with others who have similar interests. Picking up books and reading with your children can help foster a bond and build strong relationships. This develops a positive outlook with books that can help build on school performance and communicative skills as kids age.
Reading regularly exposes you to a world of different genres and perspectives that you may never have experienced anywhere else.
Being open to a variety of viewpoints allows us to become more empathetic because books tend to capture emotions in a way that truly resonates and impacts its reader.
Books also tend to feature new and interesting vocabulary. This can have a huge impact on your communicative skills, which play such a significant role in all of the facets of our lives, from our schooling years to the time we enter the workforce and beyond.
Reading can also contribute greatly to improving concentration and focusing on critical thinking. Memory function also stands to win when you take some time out of your day to read. The activity puts your brain through a mental exercise as you are forced to pay attention and retain pieces of information, thus improving your memory function overall.
Is reading a dying habit in the digital age?
Unfortunately, reading seems to be on the decline in recent years.
With the digital age, more people are choosing to spend their time on Twitter, Facebook, or Netflix. These platforms are constantly evolving and updating, creating new and refreshing ways to maintain our attention and feed us the instant gratification that we crave.
Notifications are constantly pulling readers away from the concentration needed to truly immerse themselves into reading, which leads to less and less dedication to books as time goes on.
Among all age groups, reading for pleasure is on the decline.
Despite books going digital, eBook sales are also decreasing. The statistics really speak for themselves. People are choosing to spend time on the internet because it continues to innovate and evolve in the midst of the digital age.
With the wave of new streaming services, we are constantly being offered new TV shows, movies and all forms of entertainment from the likes of Netflix that takes away even more time out of our busy days from reading. Our priority to read is placed on the back burner and simply continues to diminish until eventually, people simply choose not to pick up another book.