The way individuals learn in read and write in this generation varies greatly. Some kids are raised diving head first into a sea of pages consisting of fictitious stories, educational novels, or something in-between. Some kids, however, are raised through the world of technology. These technological kids read social media posts instead of words on a page. They play games on a screen instead of imagining their own world as they read along with their favorite storybook hero. Regarding my own personal experience with how I learned to read and write, I fall somewhere in the middle of reading a hard copy book and having my head glued to the screen of a phone.
When I was younger, all I did was read. I didn’t have a phone, my parents didn’t want me playing any of the video games my friends were playing, and the only time I would see a screen was if I was watching TV. So, to entertain myself I would read as much as I could. In the beginning, I read all types of genres. I would read books my friends were reading, books that the librarians recommended, and books I just took off the shelf. Eventually, I began to fall in love with fiction. I loved the way that I could follow a characters journey through a world so different from mine. I never had to make any decisions, or interact with anyone as you do in a video game, I just observed someone else story and got to imagine what it was like living in my characters world.
The first series that comes to mind that made me enjoy fiction so much was the Percy Jackson series. The series incorporated greek mythology with the modern day. When I read the story, I was 10 years old and the main character was about 14 or 15. I automatically began to look up to the main character, Percy, and I would look forward everyday to continuing our journey together to Mount Olympus. After I finished the Percy Jackson series, I continued to read more mythological fiction books. Eventually, as I matured I began to grow out of mythological fiction and I read more “teen fiction” that involved romance and more serious subjects such as drug use and murder. At this point I still enjoyed reading as much as I did before, but I began noticing that I enjoyed writing stories too. In class, I excelled at creative writing exercises and I felt as if I could write my own book without a problem. For better or for worse, it was around this time that I was introduced to technology.
At the end of middle school I got my first IPhone. As time went on I slowly spent more and more time using my phone and less time reading which led to less motivation to write. By the time I started high-school I stopped reading altogether. This continued throughout almost my whole high school career unless I was reading or writing for a school project. Luckily, in my senior year, I was in a coffee shop connected to a book store. Looking at all the books on the shelf, I suddenly had the urge to read again. I walked into the store and picked a random book off the shelf. I began to read it and I felt the same feeling I got when I was a 10 year old reading Percy Jackson. From there I began reading more and more frequently, making time each week where I would “unplug” from the world around me and be transported to another world while reading a story.
Overall, I recently rekindled a love for reading that had previously been taken over by technology. Now, I force myself to find a balance between reading and using technology as I find there’s a benefit from both.