There's Just Something About Paper

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Just imagine sticking a computer on your face like this.

Reading on a screen is different from reading a book, and your brain can tell.

This week, we've got an update on one of our most popular episodes to date, about what all that skimming does to our ability to read deeply. 

Dozens of you have written in with similar frustrations: you feel like you can't get through a novel, or even that excellent long article you meant to read a week ago. You've also commented on the difference between writing on paper and on a screen... and, yep, turns out there's a disconnect there as well: researchers at Princeton and UCLA say taking notes by hand is actually better for retaining information. In three studies, they found that students who took notes on laptops had more trouble answering conceptual questions than those who took notes longhand in a class. Laptop note takers, it turns out, tend to transcribe lectures rather than processing the facts and reframing them in their own words.

It's another example of a phenomenon we see over and over again: If you feel like a device or any technology has messed with you, you might be onto something... way before any researcher can prove it.

 In this episode:

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Music Playlist

  1. SoSoSoy

    Artist: Kenneth J Brahmstedt
    Label: BWN Music
  2. Run Run Running

    Artist: Nicholas Rod
    Label: BWN Music
  3. Hook, Line and Sinker

    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia
    Label: BWN Music
  4. Thoughts

    Artist: Kenneth J Brahmstedt
    Label: BWN Music