Gen Z is often referred to as the digital generation. Whilst this may seem like a very positive description because most of us are “gurus” within the field of technology, there are some significant disadvantages.
Among these is the drastic decrease in reading among the younger population which can have an immense effect on us all in the future.
Reading is something I have always loved, the thought of being able to pick up a book and delve into its contents whilst using your imagination to translate the written words into an image in your head has always intrigued me.
The sky is ultimately the limit when it comes to how each individual views the context of a novel which is phenomenal. Our views and interpretations of a text differ greatly which makes reading such an individual experience. Whilst some people prefer to go deep into their imagination, others prefer to read in a more logical and structured fashion.
Growing up as a young child, I read tons of books. Jacqueline Wilson was certainly one of my favourite authors. I read all of her books that were available in our school library. Also, every Sunday after Church, I’d pick up her weekly magazine filled with everything from goodies to quizzes.
Honestly, sometimes I do wish that I could go back to the old days when I would be so fascinated by Jacqueline’s literature and create these imaginative images in my head of her various characters.
During the summer holidays, I would always enrol in the Summer Reading Challenge at my local library. The excitement that used to blossom inside of me whenever I returned to the library to collect my scented stickers after reading two books is an unforgettable memory.
As I grew older, in Year 7, I became obsessed with Sophie McKenzie’s books, my ultimate favourite was “Blood Ties”. That book had me in the library every single lunch break, at times my friends probably thought I was going mad.
Consequently, I won an award for reading the most books in my year group, most of those books were written by Sophie McKenzie. Whilst I did not fully comprehend the advantages of my extensive level of reading at such a young age, I am now aware that it has severely aided in expanding my vocabulary.
However, nowadays things are a lot different. I am certainly not the “perfect” girl that I previously was regarding reading. There are some months that go by without me even picking up a single book. My lack of reading has been due to a shift in focus to that of more academic school-related reading. This means that I do still read, but it is usually school-related, academic journals and even the news. I have simply lost the desire to read for fun which is truly upsetting.
Currently, I am reading “Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”, and to be brutally honest, I have been stuck reading this book for over a month now.
This is not due to lack of interest, as it is an extremely intriguing book, but rather a preoccupied mind that has simply adopted the schema that “I am too busy to read for fun”.
I am currently in the process of cleansing my mindset when it comes to reading as there are so many benefits. Not only does it expand your vocabulary, it also has been proven to reduce stress and promote brain stimulation.
The advancement in the field of technology has immensely impacted our generation. Instead of reading a book like some of us used to about a decade ago, we are instead occupied with absorbing apps such as Twitter and Instagram. This is not to say that these apps are bad for us, as they are great concerning things such as the promotion of businesses and connecting with friends and family. Despite this, however, our mobile phones occupy so much of our time that we simply do not read as much anymore.
I started a blog during summer and it is evident that most of Gen Z are slowly losing the desire to read. It is incredibly difficult to grow a blog nowadays.
High blog traffic is a dream for every blogger but the truth is a lot of us are struggling out here. Ten years ago blogs were a lot more “trendy” and hence it was a lot easier to grow a blog. Truth be told, Gen Z is not interested in blogs.
Nevertheless, this will not stop me from chasing my dreams and inspiring young people to learn about African history and engage in global politics. If novels or journals are not necessarily your kind of thing then I would personally suggest reading a blog that interests you. Truth be told, I just hope that one day we all realise the incredible benefits of reading before it is too late.