Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our “Fast Food” Culture or This is Too Long to Read

Burger by SteFou! Have you found that you get used to reading information which is getting shorter and shorter, whether it be a blog, Twitter or Facebook? Is long information becoming increasingly unbearable to you? We grow bored reading long and serious articles which in fact provide food for thought; on the contrary, we prefer those short articles which can easily amuse us.

That’s the impatient atmosphere the Internet world brings us. Maybe we can call it “fast food” culture. It represents the phenomenon that people want everything faster and faster but pay less attention to the value inside. Just like fast food… it is yummy and can make us full in a short time, but we cannot rely on it in the long run as it doesn’t have much nutrition.

Certainly we have to admit the huge benefits the Internet has brought us. Thanks to SNS like Facebook and Twitter, we can keep up to date with our friends whenever and wherever. However, in the process of using these twenty-first century modes of communication, the way we deal with information is also unobtrusively being changed. Although those short and brief sentences give us necessary information, they reduce the depth of our thoughts and we have less chance to enjoy the process of reading long and classic materials. What’s more, we abandon deep thoughts, and we are becoming more and more “shallow.”

Now let us list three kinds of “shallow” traits caused by “fast food” culture.

Firstly, “more pictures, less words.” Nowadays we prefer watching to reading things. Rage comic’s popularity can be a good example. It is created from a character or rage face, which expresses rage or some other simple emotion. We can be easily amused by these simple pictures without thinking too much. But when we are reading something, we have to calm down and think. So too in “fast food” culture, just “more pictures, less words!”

Secondly, “easily influenced,” Using Google, Wiki or Naver we can easily find the answer to the question or other persons’ opinions to certain issues. And social network sites make us love sharing the same opinion with others. As a result, we tend to think “what others think,” rather than, “I think” independently.

Third, “Internet attention disorder.” Have you found you are capable of “multi-tasking?” Increasingly we tend to seek information with brief glimpses at the Yahoo headlines or Facebook while juggling other tasks. Giving it a second thought, actually we are not able to concentrate on simply one single thing. We can call it “Internet attention disorder.” Facing a computer, we are so interested in today’s hot news that we cannot calm down and concentrate on work.

When we create watches, we become slavers of time. When we create the Internet, we are surfed by the net instead of surfing the net. Will we wake up from the Internet? Can we get rid of the fast food culture’s bad effect and restart our slow and thankful life?

Staff writer Gu ChengQiang is currently a Woosong University student majoring in Railroad Management.


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