There has been a quite extensive debate going on recently whether listening to audiobooks is the same thing as actually reading the book. Quite a few arguments are presented claiming that, on one hand, just listening might be a step closer to illiteracy, while on the other, it is said that listening to audiobooks is actually the same, even better.
[Listening to Audiobooks Is Just As Good As Reading, If Not Better, So Back the Hell Off | The New Yorker](https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/listening-to-audiobooks-is-just-as-good-as-reading-if-not-better-so-back-the-hell-off)
It is probably a debate that is not going to be over soon — which is ’the real thing’ and which is just a bad substitute, as The Who would sing about in one of their best songs, that unfortunately turned out to be great, but just a substitute for a popular hit.
On the other hand, the debate, if there is one, whether writing by hand and even typing are the same as text processing is quite subdued. No matter the fact that text processing sounds as such a mechanical term, as you are sticking your words into a meat grinder or a food processor, with disregard what will come out, as if it something that doesn’t really depend on the writer, but on the manner in which he is coming up with his writing.
The thing is, we have no full comprehension yet in which manner a new technology or just a new technique has on our thought processes, including the one of creative (or not so creative) writing. Is one methodology a natural progression, does it only bring something new and advanced or does it phase out things that might be something we are so grown and accustomed to? Is text processing just a shoddy substitute of writing by hand or typing (nobody seemed to complain much when that switch was made), or is it just an outdated process that belongs to an old, or again, as The Who would say just a thing of the past, something that belongs to “My Generation”?
As with audiobooks vs. reading, with writing vs. text processing, there probably is no straight answer. To get to your computer and start ‘text processing’ those words you have to learn to read and write first. There’s at least ‘the obstacle’ to be able to recognise the letters on your keyboard, or screen. At least for now. There is a certain process involved in your conceiving and coming up with your thoughts materialising in front of your or somebody else’s eyes and that process evolves. Along with it so do the thoughts that we would like to present on paper or the computer screen, whether we like it or not.
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