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General Paper Essay Outline : Tech has produced a generation unable to distinguish what is worth reading. (DHS Prelim 2015)

warning handle with care

Note : Raw thoughts…

Interpretations :

When is something is worth reading ?

  • When it serves the reader’s purpose
  • When it helps readers understand issues that impact them, so that they can act in accordance with correct information
  • When it builds a person intellectually and emotionally or spiritual  for his holistic development
  • Any others ?

How does technology affect reading materials that are offered to today’s generation of readers ?

  • tech (namely the internet & social media) offers  a lot of material, from the highly sophisticated research and credible opinion pieces to speculative pseudo-science & gossip i.e. quality can vary greatly
  • viral nature of the internet / cut-and-paste culture
  • the internet is a marketplace for ideas i.e. competition… and the winners are those who can present the sensational or the fun

Points to develop :

It seems much easier to then argue that this tech-savvy generation could find it very hard to distinguish what is worth reading. Why is this so ?

  1. They do not have the means or methods to determine authentic material … confusion between what is popular/viral & what is truly worth reading
  2. sound bytes, short clips, short reports … no depth in content … Readers themselves have no desire to pursue depth in content
  3. The internet market place >>> makes it seem like whatever content presented is what readers want … Content producers can play on insecurities … and readers could fall for click bait of all forms
  4. The desire to look only for what reaffirms their beliefs can reinforce the confirmation bias among internet users … too many online articles could also deter readers from looking beyond the ideas they are familiar with, even though these articles may be very valuable in developing their understanding of issues.
  5. If this generation can distinguish what is worth reading, it is because they read not for some pragmatic purpose but just to relax the mind & find some entertainment from online fluff. So, what they read is worth it because it fulfils this very simple intention.
  6. Another segment of readers who show that they can discern truth from trash, or the important from the immaterial, are those want to take constructive action based on what they have read … younger voters may find out more before going to the ballot box … consumers may do more research especially for big-ticket items like buying a car or home, or planning a vacation
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