Readwrite published a ‘tabloidesque’ scare story headlined: “Our Growing Obsession With Screens Is Killing Our Brains”. It was a hugely misleading title.
Last year, Mangen analyzed reading comprehension of 72 10th graders. She broke the students into two groups: One group received information on paper and the other read PDFs on a computer screen. She found that students who read on the computer screens comprehended less than their paper-reading peers, and students who read digital copies of information forgot it much quicker.
It’s not just reading that could be suffering, but writing too. As handwriting and cursive notebooks are replaced by iPads and laptops, educational development in students who are just beginning to read and write creatively could be negatively affected.
Of course, reading off of a computer screen will decrease comprehension, due to fatigue and eye strain. It doesn’t mean that our brains are dying. Likewise, handwriting will decrease if people write less, just like any skill wears off after practice; once again, our brains aren’t being ‘killed’.
Prolonged time in front of a computer, or video games, is a bad thing, but a click-bait title like this was unnecessary, especially when the article inadvertently debunked it.