Do teenagers have a shorter attention-span today, than what they used to have? Is the world really developing with all this new technology, or are people actually getting dumber? This time, I am interviewing a young bookworm and a good friend; Ana Maria de Macêdo, asking her about our highly (damaging?) technological development, in comparison with the importance of reading.
Why is reading important to you?
A: For me, its a way of escaping reality by connecting with someone else’s story. I think you connect with a book more when you can see a part of yourself in a character, It doesn’t have to be the main character, it can be a minor one. If the plot is somewhat relatable to your own real-life situation, it can also help you get through whatever it is that you’re going through at the moment.
Do you think that smartphones have done something to peoples attention-span when it comes to reading?
A: Yes. Now, we are unable to focus on one thing for a long period of time. Because these days, nothing lasts more than ten seconds- for example, advertisements on Social Media. Everything that you digest online is shown very quickly, and I think that has affected our ability to focus. Because when you read a book, it doesn’t keep changing as much. It doesn’t tell you something instantly. Instead, you need to read on and figure it out for yourself; ergo, your brain constantly gets challenged. Books are not for lazy people. That’s a fact.
What is your advice for young people who want to be able to read more?
A: Just put your phone on silent-mode, place it in the other end of your room, pick up a book and start reading. It’s that simple.
What is the most impressionable book you’ve ever read?
A: It’s a book called “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. It’s not my favourite, but it’s at least in my top ten. The story has a slow development, but the characters are very interesting, and the plot involves around one secret – which is also the plot-twist in the end. It really made me think for days afterwords, because it changed my perspective completely. I would for sure recommend it to people who don’t mind a slow beginning. I think you have to have a lot of patience for it, but it’s definitely wort it. But I gotta say, my all-time favourite book is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. The entire book is written in letters, and the character development of the protagonist is so innocent and endearing. I think he is so pure – especially when he falls in love. Also, theres a plot-twist here. I guess I’m a sucker for plot-twists. I just love them.
What made you grow fond of reading?
A: When growing up, my parents always had a book in their hands. And when I was little, our book-shelfs seemed gigantic. It felt like I was surrounded by tall towers of stories, because it went all the way from the floor to the ceiling. So it felt like a waste not to explore them. The funny thing is that it was perfectly organised for my brother and I. Because the bottom shelf (the one that we were able to reach at the time) was filled with children books – and by each shelf, the more advanced the language in the books became. So as we grew up, we read more and more challenging books.
What book are you reading at the moment?
A: I just started reading “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. I can’t say much about it now, but it seems very intriguing.
Ana Maria de Macêdo is a seventeen year old, Brazilian IB-student, currently studying in Sweden. In the future, she would like to work as a therapist for troubled children.
Aftur S. Nerdrum (ps, please tell me if you like these interviews, and/or of I should do more of them!)