The bad and the good of micro texts

Updated: 2014-02-13 07:36

By Zhu Yuan(China Daily)

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The transmission of information via electronic means, such as micro blogs, text messages and micro text messages, have made it even more unlikely people will develop the habit of reading books and make them part of their lives.

But would people have developed the habit of reading even if smartphones and all the modern information transmission means were not available? That remains a question. Undoubtedly, spending years on campus does not necessarily mean a person will love books. There is a tendency for students to be pragmatic and more concerned with what kind of a job they will hopefully get after graduation rather than becoming obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge in a particular field.

Wang's concerns do seem justified, as more people seem immersed in their screens. But I do not think this is a bad thing per se. My argument is such behavior can actually help people, as the micro text messages do include some that can help people gain a better understanding of a particular event or life in general.

However, for those to whom reading books is already a way of life, the question is whether he or she has the self-restraint not to become addicted to this from of communication.

I try to make it a rule that going through micro text messages is just a short break from my reading. I might sometimes send a picture or short message online, but never so many that it becomes a major part of my life.

There is indeed some useful information or some very interesting topics being discussed in the Weixin groups and by reading through some of them I can learn something new. But while micro text messages can be an important source of information and knowledge for those who have never developed the habit of reading books, I would say micro text messages can never replace reading, which can be much more thought provoking.

However, another advantage of these modern information transmission means is they have considerably expanded the channel of communication in terms of the number of people getting involved in a conversation or discussion to a degree unimaginable in the past.

The author is a senior writer of China Daily.

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