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The longevity of the written word

What have all the worlds most established religions all share? They all have a book that outlines their philosophy and belief system. I would like to examine how the written word still carries status even in the technological age.

Firstly, I am not suggesting that the written word has to be on paper. Digital wording is just as effective. The crucial point is that it is in words at all. In recent times the phrase a picture paints a thousand words has become very popular and as a follow on from this, the video is the new currency of communication. They have their advantages but to rely on them is folly. We, as a developing society have pushed for the young to learn to read write and do arithmetic , a consequence of the industrial revolution. The later information revolution has made visual data the default means of communicating ideas.

The problem arrises because little is left to the imagination. The attention span with visual digital media is getting shorter. The average time spent on an unsolicited video is a matter of seconds. This has flowed over into the reading patterns of the populous who either never read books or simply only read the first fifty pages and don’t finish them.

When I started writing my books I did so as a dyslexic who found accessing information very difficult. I decided to focus on the self help community and keep them short. I thought that with the development of digital communication, life would be easier but like most others my patience has diminished . I crave quick answers. I feel that when we are handed things on a plate it is easy to disengage from the original focus of our attention.

One of the greatest gifts that humans have is the gift of creativity and that is stimulated through the imagination. When reading the written word we have to engage with our imagination. Many of the historical religions would not be around today if it wasn’t for the book that passed their faith through the generations. Visual, digital information has its place as does auditory communication ( a way of accessing information whilst doing something else. However I believe we will return to books as they offer a unique access to our imagination and subsequent creativity.

Peter Bull ( Author of the Get In Touch Series)