Reading On Screen: The New Media Sphere

Christian Vandendorpe’s article “Reading on the Screen: The New Media Sphere,” highlights three different ‘modes’ of reading.  From grazing, to browsing, and hunting, these categories serve different purposes for each reader.  Grazing refers to reading such that takes a continuous effort, such as spending a few weeks reading a large novel.  Browsing refers to spending time taking in what you find interest in, and ignoring the rest.  Hunting comes down to having a set idea of what you’re looking for, and searching until you have found it.  Vandendorpe describes how these modes change the way we read and how they come into effect through the changing technology.

Looking at grazing, we mainly think of a long novel, where the reader will only be able to complete it if they spend a few sittings on it.  This is where they have to look at the reading and get a big picture out of it.  Without forming each session of reading into one, you wont be able to fully understand.  This mode occurs rarely through the screen, unless an online book comes into play or a new technology device that streams page by page for you as you go.

We can refer browsing to flipping through a magazine, or only spending time on the sections of the newspaper that appeal to you, not wasting time on what you don’t like. For instance-sports fans will read a play-by-play of what’s happening at the US Open, yet skip over the politics section, yet they might find some interest in the comics. This can also relate to quickly looking through a novel until you find something worth your interest.  This relates to picking and choosing.  Browsing the Internet has become more popular as blogs, online news, and social networks have blown up.  These all take a fancy to different people in different ways.

With hunting, we can think of Google.  Having a set thought on what you’re looking for, typing it in, and getting your instant result.  We can of course look to books for this mode of reading, but with the wave of instant technology, the computer may sometimes be the favorable, quick option for hunting.

Vandendorpe may approve of the technology aspect of these modes and how computers have helped form a clear distinction between them when in use.  We use computers for fast access to any reading wed like, and we even have such as E-Books where we can buy and read books on the hand-held device.  Vandendorpe would most likely agree that the use of the E-books are the most beneficiary of them all as you are solely reading a book.  It is easy to hold, take notes on, and turn pages, and relates most to books.  The use of Facebook and other social networking sights allow browsing to take a huge role through technology.

Personally, I have never experienced so much “hunting” and “browsing” before I got on Facebook and began using Google for everything.  It is very easy to use and allows me to be quick and successful in anything I am looking to do.  I personally enjoy reading on screens more than regular books, but the main downside is the distraction from browsing the Internet at the same time.  It has caused me to sub-consciously turn to Facebook a paragraph into whatever I am reading.  It is hard when two things on the same device clash.  Other than that, I find Google and online books and articles extremely helpful.


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