Today's teenagers do not read as many books as a teenager even 10 or 20 years back used to. Why is it so? Is it because other forms of communication, learning and entertainment have taken over the ever popular "book" or is there some other reason? What do you think?
Other sources such as computer, cell-phone and television has replaced reading. Teenagers now spend a lot of time on the computer, chatting with friends online or going on the internet. Time is also spent on watching television shows, as well as text messaging. In Singapore context, teenagers nowadays prioritize studying, being "in" and getting the latest news and gossip instead of reading which most think of as a waste of time. Also, students' daily timetable are usually packed with activities such as school, tuition, other lessons, enrichment and co-curricular activities, so teenagers nowadays rarely find time to relax and do things they want to, like reading, hanging out and things like that. Even when they have the time off from school, numerous projects, assignments and homework have to be done during their so-called "leisure time", and teenagers would rather spend their time on the computer, television or cell-phone when they have the extra time off, because to them, those are their "leisure activities", to get in touch with their friends.
As technology is advancing at a rapid speed, reading is often replaced with similar activities such as listening to the radio and watching the news broadcast on television instead of reading from the newspapers. But by hearing, or looking, we might not learn as we will by reading. As we read, we pick up unfamiliar words along the way. And knowing how to spell the unfamiliar words, we can check for it's meaning on the dictionary. But by hearing or watching, sometimes, pronunciations of the reporters or dee-jays might not be correct and when we hear an unknown word, it might not be convenient to check the meaning on the dictionary as well. Therefore, I think that reading is important and more effective for learning.
In my opinion, reading is still important to teenagers, even in today's context, and good reading habit should be emphasised. While many might think that reading is useless and a waste of time, reading is actually a meaningful activity that can expand our creativity and also, let us get in touch with not only our friends, but the world as well. Reading does not have to be the boring activity which many students dislike, but instead, reading can be fun too. By first choosing the books or reading materials you are interested in reading, we can then slowly learn to gain interest from reading all sorts of books, essays, and articles. Reading can also be fun when done in a group, or after reading the same article or book, friends can get together to discuss about the happenings and their feelings. Interesting activities can also be organised by the school to promote reading.