Friday, October 07, 2005

Visual Vs Reading

This age we live in is a "visual" age. People are afraid of text. Well, maybe afraid is a big word but the "culture of reading" is different than what we used to have. It's not strange actually, we raise with this visual culture, we accept things easily if see them. That's why people read less and less.

Before you will have some "objections" to my comment; I know that people still read. But reading is something... old fashioned, or at least it's getting old fashioned. We, as human , follow our evolution, technologically, socially and biologically... Our technological evolution at this moment is led us to this digital age. We still read but now in a total new medium, on internet (or computers). This digital medium affected us drastically in last years. This impact is quite huge, we don't even realize the impact of this step in digital evolution on us! Our reading habit or behavior is also strongly affected with this development.

What does that mean? Well, the thing is that we consume images easily than we actually understand them. My point is that the content, substance or meaning of things are less important as long as that they are visually consumable objects. We see them and we consume them as fast as possible. The internet is almost only medium at the moment to reach news and information as fast as possible. We receive this information -visually or as a text-, we read/absorb them and we consume them as fast as possible as the way we get them. If this information short and compact we understand them better. If it isn't then it's more difficult to decode them or we simply reject that information.

This is, of course, not the fault of computers, our visual culture was heavily influenced by TV which has a 50-60 years of history and still is one of the main medium in our information society. The computers are only the next step in technological evolution and it just follows the steps of its former ancestor. But we can't deny this development on our behaviour of receiving the information. This subject is already discussed and examined by media theorists and at this point I want to add only the ideas from Marshall Mc Luhan:

"... all media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical;
The wheel ... is an extension of the foot
The book ... is an extension of the eye
Clothing, ... an extension of the skin...
Electric circuitry, ... an extension of the central nervous system.
Media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratios of sense perceptions. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act- the way we perceive the world. When these ratios change, men change. "

And computers?.. They are the extension of human consciousness... I will come back to this subject later again.

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3 Noises:

At Friday, October 07, 2005 1:57:00 AM, Anonymous konrad said...

I like what you've said about people becoming more and more visual. I think the reason is that we are bombarded with a lot more information, so the quicker the information makes sense the more attention we are prepared to give it.

 
At Friday, October 07, 2005 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous :) said...

you`re listing several bands on your blogroll, and 2 of your favorites is "guitar" and "music" - how about hearing?
what are pictograms made for - for visual preception or reading? how about the languages of signs?

 
At Sunday, October 09, 2005 8:01:00 PM, Blogger . nothing . said...

Nice points you've mentioned -I don't who you are, but anyway-.
Language IS a visual thing, my aim was something else with this psot but I added some extra thoughts here: http://nothingmakesnoise.blogspot.com/2005/10/visual-to-reading.html

 

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