Loss of Literacy

A young author reads her book which she wrote and illustrated to a group of children at a local library.

With the deluge of everything technology, it seems as if man has lost his ability to transfer the written word from simple words on a page to recesses of his mind where his imagination can bring them to life.

I used to hear people say that they could explore anywhere in the world or become any character through imagery derived from books – I don’t hear that so much anymore.

I recently came upon a old report on literacy reading in America by Reading at Risk that found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.

Books are becoming a medium of the past – a fact that is tragic. I fear as man loses his ability to use his imagination through the written word, he will soon loose all forms of creativity.

Today, everything is about the technology. Even at church, digital Bibles are replacing the written Word as my youngest daughter demonstrated when she “opened” her iphone instead of The Book during the morning’s sermon.

Although digital books are still technically literacy, other forms of technology remove the necessity of the user to read, or use his imagination.

Case in point: Texting. O.K., you do have to read it, but OMG, what are you really learning, except that your BFF is BDDBI5M or your BF will have to CWYL CUZ he has GGN, (netlingo.com/acronyms).

Yeah, and we used to fear the Ebonics was going to ruin the language skills in America – texting lingo has the propensity to remove any and all literacy skills from our nation’s populace.

Along with reduced reading skills like comprehension, comes a reduction in practical life-skills like spelling. And you can’t forget composing a decent essay or letter; many people have lost the ability to compose even a decent sentence.

Technology is a wonderful tool; I use it every day, and would be completely lost without my writing companion – Google.com. But when that technology threatens to overshadow and possibly eliminate the written word, I fear that this lost skill will be the demise of our planet.

When humans stop learning, stop imagining, then they stop creating. Without creation and invention, our world cannot see progression.

If we allow it, the machines can take over even on that front – but I fear a society not unlike the one depicted in Pixar’s movie Wall-E might be our future.

Do yourself and your children a favor pick up an honest to goodness book. You can borrow almost any title from your local library, or for a spectacular treat, why not visit Full Circle Bookstore at 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma for a truly unique experience and a one of a kind book.

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