There are countless distractions on every digital screen. Even as I write this post, I’ve stopped to check email, gotten a text message about a thunderstorm heading my way, and waited out two video ads to get to the story I really wanted to see.
This is life in the new media frontier—a constant barrage of interruptions and distractions hovering all around the content we set out to view in the first place. And it’s exactly this environment that points out the role of print in breaking free from the clutter and dialing down the noise.
As Clark Hudmon writes in Komori Community, “it’s time to sidestep the noise with print.”
Hudmon mentions a recent article in the Washington Post about the diminution of reading comprehension on digital devices, and our brains are not adapting to accommodate. We’ve mentioned this disturbing topic earlier this year, noting that the smart reading device of the future may indeed be paper.
As Hudmon notes, “A plethora of studies have shown our brain is designed to read in a linear fashion, so whether it is diving into classic Hemingway, leisurely reading the New York Times Sunday Edition or breaking out the guilty pleasure of diving into old Green Lantern comics all these things allows us to pull away from the distractions of our modern world.”
“You can’t watch the news without the vivid graphics, the product placement and the networks slinging the next thing that stumbled upon its newswire at you,” Hudmon continues.
“When you take one step removed from the television you will see viewers are distracted by another screen, whether it be Buzzfeed’s latest quiz on which 80’s pop diva you are or trying to get to the next level on Candy Crush Saga. It does not take long to realize that it is the simplicity of text that allows us to be alone with our mind and imagination. As technology continues to advance, we will see more apps trying to divert us to the next screen.”
Like Hudmon, we appreciate that digital media does make our lives more convenient in many ways. For that truly deep engagement, however, nothing beats the printed word, unplugged and uninterrupted.