"Are Screens Robbing Us of Our Capacity for Deep Reading? - 8 Things That Self-Made Billionaires Do Differently"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 18, 2023

4 min read


"Are Screens Robbing Us of Our Capacity for Deep Reading? - 8 Things That Self-Made Billionaires Do Differently"

In today's digital age, the art of deep reading seems to be disappearing. The proportion of Americans who read books for pleasure has reached an all-time low, with a significant decline in both men and women. This decline can be attributed to our culture of constant distraction, where screens have taken over our lives. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his research, has discovered that reading a book is one of the simplest and most common forms of flow that people experience. However, this flow is being choked off by our addiction to screens.

When we read on screens, we are more likely to scan and skim rather than engage in deep reading. This habit starts to influence how we read on paper as well. Anne, in her studies, found that people understand and remember less of what they read on screens compared to printed books. This loss of deep reading capacity leads to a decrease in our inclination to read books.

Every time a new medium emerges, it changes the way we see the world. McLuhan believed that each medium carries a message within it. However, these messages are not always accurate. The world is complex, and to truly understand it, we need to focus on one thing for a significant amount of time. Very few things worth saying can be explained in 280 characters or less. It is important to think for ourselves and not rely solely on the opinions of others.

To counter the negative effects of screens on deep reading, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Set aside time for deep thinking: Life is complex, and to truly understand it, we need to dedicate time to deep thinking. Avoid constant distractions and give yourself the space to focus on one thing at a time. This will enhance your capacity for deep reading and understanding.
  • 2. Embrace the power of deep focus: Instead of being constantly pulled in different directions, narrow down your attention to one thing, whether it's a sentence, a page, or a book. By immersing yourself in deep focus, you can fully engage with the content and derive more satisfaction from the act of reading.
  • 3. Learn from others and broaden your perspective: Take the time to understand how other people live and how their minds work. This will not only expand your knowledge but also encourage empathy and a deeper understanding of the world around you. Seek out diverse viewpoints and actively engage in conversations that challenge your own beliefs.

In the world of self-made billionaires, there are certain traits and habits that set them apart from the rest. Here are eight things that self-made billionaires do differently:

  • 1. Analyze what can go wrong: Instead of solely focusing on what can go right, self-made billionaires like Charlie Munger analyze what can go wrong. By thinking through potential failures and making plans to avoid them, they increase their chances of success.
  • 2. Use checklists to avoid stupid mistakes: Warren Buffett attributes a large part of his success to consistently avoiding stupid mistakes. By using checklists and following basic tenets, he ensures that he doesn't make the same mistakes over and over again.
  • 3. Learn how to think independently: Ray Dalio believes that to make money, you need to think independently and go against the consensus view. By investing in one core area and continually learning and improving, you can achieve extraordinary performance.
  • 4. Invest in what will not change: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, focuses on investing in what will not change instead of solely chasing trends. By understanding what customers will always want, he ensures the long-term success of his company.
  • 5. Use storytelling to make your vision compelling: Steve Jobs understood the power of storytelling to capture people's imagination. By telling a compelling story, you can transport others into a whole other world and significantly impact their beliefs.
  • 6. Build deep, long-term relationships: Reid Hoffman emphasizes the importance of building deep, long-term relationships. By investing time and effort into these relationships, you can gain insider knowledge and access information that others may not have.
  • 7. Use decision trees to make better decisions: Elon Musk utilizes decision trees to avoid risks and make better decisions. By considering all possible outcomes and probabilities, you can make more informed choices and avoid catastrophic mistakes.
  • 8. Train yourself to love failure: Sara Blakely reframes failure as an opportunity for growth. By embracing failure and learning from it, you can turn setbacks into stepping stones towards success.

In conclusion, screens may be robbing us of our capacity for deep reading, but by implementing actionable advice and adopting the habits of self-made billionaires, we can reclaim our focus and achieve greater success in our personal and professional lives. Deep reading and critical thinking are skills that need to be nurtured and cultivated, and it is up to us to prioritize them in the face of constant distractions. By taking control of our reading habits and embracing the wisdom of successful individuals, we can navigate the digital age with intention and purpose.

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