As we discussed in class on wednesday, Motoko Rich's article in the New York Times debates as to whether or not the internet as an effect on our literacy and attention span. While it is not always the case, I do believe that the internet plays a role in affecting our attention span. The ability for a reader to skim a large amount of information and quickly move to another website makes it awfully difficult to pay attention to a longer novel or textbook. Now a fairly new website, Stumbleupon, has made it even easier for a reader to move between online articles, while potentially impacting our attention spans even further.
Once you create an account on Stumbleupon, you pick from a list of subjects that interest you, like sports, movies, or art. Once your ideal list of subjects is created, you press the "stumble" button, and the website directs you to a random website that is linked to one of the subjects you selected. This type of technology has an enormous impact as it allows a user to find interesting websites and articles they may never have found by simply surfing the internet. This website, however, does have the ability to affect a readers attention span as the New York Times article described. By allowing a reader to "stumble" to new articles at a very fast rate, it is difficult for someone truly take in the full effect of a reading when they are so eager to move to another article. Whether or not you agree with the effect Stumbleupon has on its users, its overwhelming success is representative that the way users "read" on the internet truly is changing with technology.