It’s Time to use Social Media to Get People to Read Again

By Amelia Katz

Before the creation of film and the creation of screens, writing was the only way that ideas could travel around the world. The only way to get an idea of what life was like for others was to sit down and read about it.

Today, with the ability to communicate with anyone we want at any time, some forms of communication have been lost. The rise of technology created a shift in the way younger generations communicate and learn. Libraries are starting to feel obsolete, and is that something we can truly afford? What is the price that we are paying by digitizing everything and moving to a new modern era?

Movie adaptations of books have always been a way for fans of books to be fully immersed in the world of their favorite book. Nowadays, people have taken this as a sign that they don’t need to bother reading a book when they could just sit down for an hour and a half and watch the whole thing unfold in front of them. A lot of book series have had major success with this format like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but what are we losing when we stop reading books?

Reading is an exercise for your mind and there is currently a whole generation who feels like they don’t need to read at all. The rise of podcasts and audio audiobooks also takes away the time that kids are spending looking directly at books. Younger people lack the motivation to read for hours at a time when they could skip the whole process and get the satisfaction of the ending. People are learning to take the easy way out and skipping all the best parts of a story. The little details and side characters create a universe in a way that you can’t fit into a movie. With a movie, every character and line has to matter. You can’t throw in small things without them having some larger meaning in the end. Books don’t have to end after a certain amount of time and can really stroll through a story.

Luckily, people are starting to work in reverse. Now with social media like TikTok, people are able to spread messages faster than ever before and there is a whole community of people dedicated to bringing back reading. By making reading into a “trend” like BookTok, people have almost reverse engineered the way that younger generations look at reading.

The online community is a great way for people to be excited about reading and sharing your thoughts with others. Now that there is a space to mix what younger generations want with the benefits of reading, there is a good chance that reading will be brought back into something kids might actually want to do.

Editor’s Note: We’re happy each month to publish an article written by a student from the Westfield High School Journalism Department. WHS features an important legacy of fostering strong journalism and features a 100-year old newspaper, Hi’s Eye, as well as award-winning magazine, The Optic, and a widely-popular digital publication.  

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