To start with, a 2003 survey conducted by a company called the Jenkins Group produced some statistics which have been quoted in books, blog posts and newspaper articles, stating that “One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives, 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college, 80 percent of United State families did not buy or read a book in 2002, showing a 10.2 percent decline in literary reading as compared to 1982 census equating to a loss of 20 million potential readers with its peak among young adults. 70 percent of United State adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years before the year of survey and 57 percent of new books are not read to completion”. More than 42 percent of college graduates kept reading books in the 20th century mainly within the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. So what’s to blame? A shift in popular entertainment or the dominance of the screen over printed pages? Are books just less motivating than they used to be or is society getting dumber? According to UNICEF, “Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names; while two thirds of them are women, one child in every group of four grows up not knowing how to read”. Reading is a language skill required by people to access thoughts, ideas and feelings buried in books of different prints and sizes. The linguistic contents of some books calls for inimitable reading strategies that only preserving minds can make meaning out of. Besides, there are pathological, psychological, physical, socio-cultural, economic, and didactic factors that may prevent even determined people from reading most effectively.
More so, no single atom of denunciation would obviously be observed when the adverse effect of social media on the zeal of people to holding books is subjected to converse. The propinquity provided by social media is available to predators as well as acquaintances. “While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating the negatives,” said Larry D. Rosen, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Youth who use social media like Facebook, MySpace, 2go, What’s up among others, more often show more narcissistic tendencies while young adults who have a strong Facebook presence show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviour, mania and aggressive tendencies. Studies found that middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades. Undeniably, social media also permits the abuse of language since there is freelance to inappropriate use of grammar in English language as communication between the encoder and the receiver is only given predilection with little or no apprehension to effective use of grammar in English language. “The results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations of candidates who obtained credit passes in at least five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics over a period of five years, show a downward trend. For year 2005, 27.53 per cent was recorded, 15.56 per cent for 2006, 25.54 per cent for 2007, 13.76 per cent for 2008 and 25.99 per cent for year 2009,” said The Principal Assistant Registrar of WAEC, Mr. Collins Uduh. Indeed, social media is distracting and has negatively impacted people’s enthusiasm for holding books.
Furthermore, it has also been pragmatic that people in this day and age do not engage in activities as people of primeval. Instead of reading books, studying, and engaging in other creative activities, most people end up being cooped up in their rooms watching television. And because of technological advancements and the availability of gadgets to young people, most children end up spending a significant percent of time in front of their computers and handheld video games of which no corporeal benefit is derived in their lives or in their academic performance for the time spent. An interesting effect of this was hypothesized by researchers. Television was originally thought to be a great leveler, since both rich and poor would be watching the same programs and would be provided with the same news and information. Instead, the reverse happened. “Increased yelevision viewing in poorer households harms those kids’ reading abilities and habits”. They thus do less reading throughout school and so have less access to the primary source of knowledge. The gap in education is thus amplified, not tapering. Indeed, with no refutation possible, there is a great likelihood people will take a rain check onholding books in he future when a comparison is made between the interest of people in soccer and wrestling, entertainment among others, all of which increases the time spent watching television compared to that spent on creative access to thoughts, feelings and emotion, buried in books of different prints and sizes. Daily overuse of media and technology has a lot of negative effects on the health of all children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems. This seriously affects the brain: “Since the brain controls all functions of the body, it must be kept healthy and in proper working order. Any problems with the brain can cause problems with other parts of the body”. The changes in the behaviour and outlook of people towards life are attributable to the negative psychological effects of media. Facebook can be distracting and had negatively prejudiced the eagerness of people to holding books.
In addition, there is, nevertheless, a considerable number of people who do not read well. For the most part, these are people of poverty; the obvious cause of their reading exertion is a lack of access to books. Research had shown that those who have more access to books read more, and those who read more read better. People of poverty have little access to reading materials. “1.4 billion people in developing countries live on $1.25 a day or less” (IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2011) and “rural areas account for three out of every four people living on less than $1.25 a day” (Human Development Report, 2007/2008). “22,000 children die each day due to conditions of poverty” (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2010). Extreme poverty remains an upsetting problem in the world’s developing regions, despite some progress that reduced “dollar – now $1.25 – a day” poverty from an estimated 1900 million people in 1981 by 29 percent. Progress in poverty reduction has been concentrated in Asia, and especially, East Asia, with the major improvement occurring in China. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people in extreme poverty is on the increase. Poverty leads to many dire consequences with the most paramount being hunger: hunger had led to even greater poverty by reducing people’s ability to work and learn; absence of food in the body affects the body’s metabolism and as such no single book would be given preference other than what to eat for survival. Owing to an alarming increase in the global poverty rate, diligent people and those willing to hold books are discouraged from holding books leaving the future to strive for her survival.
Finally, holding books has to do with creative interpretation of words of different prints and sizes through creative reading. Reading is very demanding, requiring the use of all intellectual endowments. Eyes, ears and mouth help to attract and transfer symbols into the brain which in turn processes them for information. The information is then stored by the brain for eventual recall and utilization. Comprehension is the goal of reading while information gathered through reading is used to write correspondences, assignments, examination, essays projects among other but most people prefers reading pornographic magazines and newspaper, erroneously corrupting the brain. The brain is the control center of the whole human body. It is essential to the overall proper function of the body. Without the brain, a body would just be a mass of parts that serve no purpose whatsoever. Many people derive satisfaction from this pornographic watch, with no concern to holding books