I saw a report on Frontline that looked at how all our computer technology is changing people. Twenty-somethings and teens function in very different ways than the generations that preceded them. This was not news to me. It is well-known that the 15 to 25 set don't interact face-to-face as much as they do online.
The fact that struck me was how it has begun to affect the writing of this age young. Apparently they can write well-structured individual paragraphs. But they cannot hold a thought or develop an idea from one paragraph to the next to create an essay or support a thesis. That got me thinking if they could even a story and I'm guessing the answer is no.
Kinda a shame. What will ultimately happen to the written word if people cannot spend time to write a story or sit still to experience a three-act play? Will poetry have a resurgence? Or will all forms of writing suffer and die out? Will the literature of the 21 century be all blogs and wall posts?
Worse still, these same people have no interest in reading books because they are so busy multi-tasking. A long novel is an anathema to them; instead they prefer Cliff Notes. How can any aspiring novelist even hope to make a dent in this age group if they aren't even willing to crack the book?
I don't have any answers here. But it is something to think about.