I know a lot of adult friends who spend a good amount of their time with their noses stuck in a book (or in their eReader). I’ve always been this way, but lately I’ve noticed some changes in my reading habits. I don’t have the patience I used to have for reading. I get antsy and restless. And instead I end up going to social media with its constant scrolling. That’s when I realized that the addictive information overload of my smartphone has somehow derailed one of my best habits–reading for enjoyment!
I’m 46 years old. My brain is obviously mature–although some friends may debate that. I can’t help but imagine what constant scrolling is doing to the reading habits of our students, whose brains are still developing. How can reading be exciting for children when they’re used to multicolored bits of information flashing at them from phones and tablets?
Here are 5 reasons why we should all replace our scrolling with reading for pleasure. I’m certainly going to be mindful of leaving my phone in another room more frequently. Send these points to parents as a reminder.
- When students read for enjoyment, they connect with characters and ponder their motivations, desires, and foibles. This connection helps develop empathy and social skills.
- A habit of reading for pleasure can improve memory and possibly help stave off dementia in later years.
- Reading is relaxing. Getting lost in a book helps people shake off daily stress, and we all know stress can cause a host of health problems.
- Reading boosts creativity. By reading, you’re exposed to new ideas and possibilities. Creativity is one of the main traits employers look for in their employees.
- When we read, we increase our knowledge about situations, places, and relationships. This knowledge base helps us become better communicators