“Ever wondered how someone could be seen to be well-read and able to portray him/herself to be an all-rounded “genius”? You may well have seen some documentaries or live interviews of prominent stars or individuals who made it big in their respective fields. Yes, no doubt they all appear to have sound knowledge or rather good knowledge of various issues posed to them. You may be prompted to think, “Wow! This person must be so well-read. I wish I could be like them”.
Then why do you think that reading is a bane? Queer isn’t it? To be honest, well-read does not necessarily need to mean that a person needs to “know everything under the Sun”. It would be gravely impossible to do that. We humans have limited capabilities. We must, thus, learn to hone our skills to achieve maximum performance in any given situation.
In this respect, it is interesting to observe from the older generation on how discerning they are when it comes to seeking knowledge. I recall getting a tablet for my mum a few years back so that she could get access to whatever information she wanted to, at her fingertips. Thinking that she would be elated with my concern for her, she retorted, “why do I need this….you are just wasting your money”. I just want to see the local news and some cooking shows on TV. You know I don’t like to be burdened with these modern gadgets.” I learnt from this experience that this attitude may be good after all, as she knows how to be selective of her choices for information. This was an “eye-opener” for me.
It cannot altogether be said that reading is bad but too much of it can be detrimental to us, and this fact applies to everyone, regardless of whether you are from the younger or older generation. More so, we live in a world where there is no escape from modern technology ranging from facilities like the Internet, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many more. Undoubtedly, the world has been brought closer with “the touch of a button”. The factors enumerated below are to the regarded from both the physical act of reading as well as its psychological impact on society, as a whole. Let’s now take a look at how reading can do us more harm than good, taken in the perspective when it is done excessively.
1. Creates Social Imbalance
“Reading also exposes you to the vices in life”
There have been many instances lately of people taking their own lives, for a variety of reasons. Shockingly, some inflict such harm on themselves as a means to experiment such an act. In one instance, apparently, the reports state, that the victim had, days before death, researched extensively on the manner of committing suicide!
You may also have come across many stories of men and women cheating on their spouses as part of the social norm, resulting in the rise of divorce rates thereby rattling the sacred institution of marriage. Other stories may include, rise in drug abuse, mass killing, fatalities in schools due to bullying and peer pressure and many more.
Though not all atrocities can be linked to reading behavior, but society has, to a certain extent, been enslaved by their unhealthy reading habits, and in some cases, led to their destruction.
2. May Lead to Personality Disorder
“Anything under immense pressure break eventually.”
There is a trend these days to be overburden with heaps of homework and to carry loads of books to school. This is merely one aspect of the problem. Psychologists believe that in the long run, these practices may be traumatic as the system is over-burdening, with enormous information which may inhibit the healthy development mentally and physically.
The rise in mental health issues in recent times may be contributed to absorption of enormous amount of materials irrelevant to us. This may be due to the unwanted advertisements popping up on our phones whilst we may be doing some productive work. Lack in concentration among adults has also been observed arising from this phenomenon.
3. Inhibits Healty Social Interactions
“Are we communicating better digitally rather than physically?”
“No doubt, a well-read person will be able to gauge any topic during the course of a social event or at any random encounter with a stranger or friend(s). However, on the negative side, you may have noted that one in every 2 person possess a tablet or a smartphone. Just go to the post office or a bank, you will have observed that 95% of the people there will be hooked to their gadgets, reading or browsing their FB account etc. even the old aunties and uncles can be seen mounting their heads into the newspapers, these days ! Normal interaction with our fellow beings have become minimal or nil altogether.
I recall being at home a few times when my family would give me a stare whenever I’m hooked to my phone. You may also have noted this unhealthy trait during family reunions or even at networking sessions! It is important to observe good social etiquette when in the company of family, friends and associates. It is also good to be aware that disrespectful habits will inevitably deprive our near and dear ones of our undivided care and attention and earn us a bad reputation. No one wants that!
4. “Knowing-All” Syndrome
“It seems like there’s only one brain in the world”
This may be linked to the personality disorder factor but looked in another interesting angle. Have you observed a person who fails to be in consensus with any person, be his family members, peers or even close friends? This may be due to the fact that he or she regards himself as knowing all due to having been exposed to multi-faceted information and thus do not need to consider another’s viewpoint. They fail to be level-headed.
Such people may lose opportunities that may avail them in the workplace or business hence suffering losses. Relationships may also take a downside. Being prone to depression may result, should such habit not be curtailed.
5. Failure To Develop Rational Thinking
“At times we are unable to filter what’s fake and not”
Many a time you would have noticed how engrossed you get when reading a piece of information especially on social media. With the multitude of information available these days, we fail to be discerning as to whether the information you beget is authentic or fake. One such instance, are scams depicting multi-millionaires who promise you fast returns upon enrolling in a job opportunity scheme. Unsuspecting individuals have become prey to such scams only to lose thousands of ringgit of their hard earned savings. Some renowned personalities have publicly claimed that their identity had been stolen by cyber criminals to perpetrate their unlawful schemes.
Therefore, reading too much unverified information may at some point cause the reader to become even more foolish rather than being more knowledgeable and failure to make rational choices as to the fakeness or authenticity of such information, makes reading too much, a bane.
In a nutshell, it can be said that we must adapt to being more people conscious and keep that smile rather than drowning in your book or gadget whenever the situation demands it. Reading is a good habit but discretion and maturity must rule the day.
Psychologically, every information ingested in our mind, especially those with elements of violence and selfish destruction ought to be regarded with a thread of caution and this is where social responsibility comes to play. The role of parents and the relevant authorities cannot be discounted in this regard.
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