For years, we've found it amusing when various technophobes or techno-pessimists would bemoan the fact that kids spent so much time online as compared to doing "real" things like reading books. This seemed odd to us, as there was a long period of time where the alternative was kids watching TV. It seems like having kids actively engaged in communicating with others through text is a great way to improve both reading and writing skills -- and there's been plenty of evidence to suggest that, in fact, kids writing skills are getting much better
. And, now, the latest report finds that (despite Nick Carr's claim that the Google-era is killing our desire to read long form
articles and books) more people are reading such things
than just a few years ago.
Basically, the decades long trend of people (of all age groups and backgrounds) reading less seems to have been reversed. However, as Valleywag notes
, the head of the National Endowment for the Arts refuses to accept the idea that the internet played a major role in the upsurge in reading. There certainly could be other factors -- and it wouldn't be at all surprising to find out a variety of different reasons for the higher reading rates, but it seems odd to out and out say the internet was a lot less important than other factors.