The internet, despite its contribution to the development of society as a whole, has its many disadvantages. One industry that seems to be on the receiving end of these disadvantages that the internet brings is the literature industry. While it has made it easier for people to publish their work, it has also made it easy for people to cut down on important aspects of producing quality content.
Every writer worth their money will tell you that one of the most important process required for producing quality work is the editing process. Not only does it help writers identify spelling and grammatical errors, it also helps them produce work that is both credible and trustworthy. This very important aspect of writing has, unfortunately, taken a back seat to writers’ desires to produce as much content as they can. For whatever reason, writers now seem to care more about producing a high number of work than they do about producing quality content.
Because publishing work has become easier for writers – especially through platforms like personal blogs and social media accounts – the editing process is now seen as a tedious and boring thing, and writers end up producing work that is of a quality that is substandard. These days, fact checking is no longer an important thing for writers; all they want to do now is follow trends and produce work based on their presumed number of readers and nothing else.
But, this is not to say that the internet has been nothing but bad to the literature industry. There are a lot of good quality publications all over the internet, and the internet has also helped bring to light a lot of brilliant writers who would have otherwise not have found any other platform to do so. It has given us a lot of quality stories – stories that would still be hidden if it wasn’t for the internet – and we have been fortunate readers as a result if it. My concern, for the better part at least, is regarding the disregard that writer seem to now have for producing good quality work.
Producing quality literary work is a process that involves more than just sitting in front of a computer or having a good idea. It also involves meticulously combing through your work, once you’re done writing it, to see if there’s any room for improvement or if there are some things you could do or say better. It also involves checking if your work makes sense, and if your readers will be able to grasp it at first go. But many writers seem to not care about those other aspects anymore; all they want to do is produce work, and that is working against them in many ways.
It’s not only with writers where the internet is causing problems, though. It has also affected the way that people read. Because there is so much information coming at them and they have an option to quit at a click of a button, readers seem to not be able to read anything that is beyond Twitter’s 240 characters. Readers have become lazy, and any text that is above one hundred pages long is too much for them. What is worse, though, is that readers are no longer ashamed to admit that they are lazy to read; for some, saying that is an act of achievement.
This has even become true for people studying literature at university level. As a literature student myself, it pains me to hear students in my classroom complaining about having to read novels for our class. Some even complain about having to read ten page articles that are given in class as required reading. We are so used to consuming visual content, or literary content that is condensed and summarised, that we are unable to read through and finish a basic novel. Some people can’t even read a Facebook status that is longer that five sentences long.
What us really concerning is the fact that this trend doesn’t seem to be dying. More and more readers and writers are becoming lazy, and the literature industry is suffering as a result of it all. Luckily, there are platforms and organizations, like the one you’re reading from now, that are dedicated to getting people to read more, but I fear that, with the number of internet users growing on a daily basis, they are facing an uphill battle.
Maybe I’m just being too gloomy about it all, and there is nothing wrong that is happening. But, as a lover of books and reading, I can’t help but notice that, the more we use the internet is the more lazy we become, and I can’t keep quiet about it.
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