It’s official — the internet is making us dumb: The more you read online, the worse you write
"The study found students who consume primarily digital content (such as Reddit and Buzzfeed) had the lowest writing complexity scores, while those who often read literature and academic journals had the highest levels of writing complexity. “If you spend all your time reading Reddit, your writing is going to go to hell in a handcart,” warned Professor Yellowless Douglas, the study’s lead author, to the Boston Globe. “You should be very choosy — and highly conscious of the impact — of what you read." ‎- JustDuckie
this assumes that "writing complexity" is a good thing. I am not on board with that assumption. ‎- LibSkrat
Misleading analysis, really. A true comparative study would looks at those reading the academic journals online. ‎- k8s
@libskrat: I suspect that "writing complexity" in this case doesn't mean reading Judith Butler's unfortunate prose. Rather, it's related to both complexity of thought and argument within the prose as well as the prose's construction. ‎- k8s
Well, okay. They were looking at cover letters, right? And there's a damn good argument to be made that cover letters SHOULD NOT be highly complex writing! So my sideeye remains strong here. ‎- LibSkrat
I see they didn't address the question of whether reading digital content at Salon makes people dumber. :-P ‎- John B.
^ lol ‎- LibSkrat
@libskrat: I really want to see how they're defining complex as a research term, but cover letters wouldn't fit the typical colloquial use of the word. Maybe what they're going for is what we'd colloquially call sophisticated, because a cover letter can certainly be that. I'm now very interested and will have to investigate this later tonight. ‎- k8s