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Are young people reading enough?

In modern culture, reading is seen as an intellectual hobby or a source of imaginative escapism for young children, while teenagers often perceive reading for pleasure as nerdy or unorthodox. In the case of the latter, it is worrying to witness the benefits of books being lost due to the obsession towards social appearance. Of course, reading is appreciated by many young adults, but I feel that the monopolisation of technology over entertainment is severely damaging the reputation of reading as a source of escapism and education. It is easy to ignore the deterioration of reading as a hobby, but do young adults understand the advantages of reading enough?

The monopolisation of technology over entertainment is severely damaging the reputation of reading 

At school, my break times mainly consisted of sport and social interaction with friends; to sit on a bench and start reading would be socially suicidal. While some young people utilise their spare time to educate their minds and explore the boundaries of fictional and non-fictional literature, many can’t seem to understand why they would not rather spend their time on a Playstation or go out with friends. Especially for introverts: the limitless adventures, the exploration of your imagination, the ventures into the historical past, learning about someone’s eventful life, are all aspects that can be achieved best through reading compared to any other hobby. These factors seem to be either ignored or irrelevant to the majority of modern teens, as they prefer to follow what’s popular and focus on social media and promote their cyber-personality.

Subconsciously, this is having a detrimental, generational impact on the future whereby young adults will be so immersed in technology and reliant on science for their sources of information, that reading as a source of education and entertainment will slowly become a victim of technological evolution. It is cool to be technologically savvy, it is cool to play video games, it is cool to get likes on your Instagram photo, it is cool to be up to date with the latest TV show…but it’s not cool to read. As science continues to control modern culture at an alarming rate, I believe the situation will worsen. Bookstores are already seeing profits fall, mainly to the emergence of online books, but also to the simple lack of interest from today’s youth. They would prefer to spend their money on a pair of trainers rather than purchase a book. For as much as a ten pound book, you can gain so much more than from a netflix subscription. For me, it’s a no-brainer what I want to spend my money on!

Reading as a source of education and entertainment will slowly become a victim of technological evolution

Understandably, it is incredibly difficult to find the right reading environment, which puts many young people off because of the relentlessly busy world they live in. Also, some people simply don’t have the right mentality and concentration to focus on a book, and would rather spend their time playing a game in which they don’t have to think. When entertainment is given to you on a plate, why would you read? This I understand, but it is depressing to acknowledge this is the reality we now live in and it is only the beginning. Young adults need to understand what advantages can be delivered from just a few pages of literature and that their overall understanding of life can be transformed for the better from a book. Reading as a hobby is dying, and it is mainly the academic use of literature which is keeping it alive among students. As time progresses, we can only hope that young adults cling on to their extraordinary imaginations and voluntarily choose to dedicate their time to learning rather than passive entertainment.


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