Do You Read What You Tweet?

Reading is something we do every day, but how in depth do we really read? Students need healthy reading habits to help their skills as readers grow, but they’re growing up in a society that doesn’t even read the majority of things they post to Twitter. This article was Tweeted by Arielle Armenti and it talks about how we often don’t read. We just skim. Chartbeat CEO Tony Hailie said, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” Chartbeat investigates our activity online so they can notice habits and behavior. Twitter can be great for sharing ideas, but in a fast paced world like this how can we expect to really take in all that information? How can kids be expected to stay focused and read in a world where attention spans are lessening and the desire for immediate simple information is growing?

UpWorthy and Buzfeed attempted similar tests and found that “the majority of shares on social media occur after someone has spent over three and a half minutes on the page.” This means that people either tweeted based simply on the title of the article and not on the content, or they read most of the text or all of it. This makes me wonder whether students act the same way. Do they simply skim over the title and text or read the whole thing thoroughly? Or is there some in between? And if our kids’s attention spans are wearing thin and they don’t focus on reading how can we turn that around? I personally have a “less is more” attitude when it comes to information. The less you subject yourself to, the more detailed you can look into it. I can’t say I have an answer to whether our kids are doomed and if Twitter will never become more in depth with its readings, but I can say that becoming aware of that fact is the first step and we are well on our way.

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2 thoughts on “Do You Read What You Tweet?

  1. This is really interesting, especially since I’ve found myself doing this from time to time. (Even for this class, if I just see a catchy title, I’ll think “Oh! I can tweet this and get credit for it!” before even getting a chance to finish reading it!

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I myself, a writer by my own definition, don’t read everything I post. I often search for articles with lists rather than paragraphs so that skimming is an acceptable way of obtaining the information stored within the articles. Our students and people in general are looking for ways to do this. I think that as writers we should grow to reach the readers and what they desire. By making articles easy to skim and just as likely to get the correct information we are speeding up the process of reading and developing with our 21st century learners.

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