Friday, March 7, 2014

On Technology in Reading - the Sprintz App

It's a well-known truth that times will change and technology will advance. Technology has crawled into basically every nook and cranny of our lives - from leisure time, working time, eating, even sleeping. Imagine our world without technology. It's crazy to think about it.

Recently, I learned of a new app on the market. An app called Spritz will allow you to read Harry Potter in 77 minutes. It's not a gimmick, it's not a "Get Abs without Working Out or Dieting!" type of trick. It's legitimate.

The actual technology behind it is incredibly fascinating, so you all should click here and learn about this app.

Now, with all this advancement, the main thing (obviously) that is being pushed aside is the benefits of patience.

Do you honestly think that a person who reads Harry Potter in under two hours will truly absorb or understand the novel? Take a click on this link and see how the app actually works. It's incredibly interesting...but is it worthwhile?

While I think this app would be fantastic for college students needing to cram for a test or for someone needing to catch up on a report, I don't think I'll ever use this app to read a novel. There literally is (as far as I know) no easy and efficient way to go back and reread something. There's no way to flip back a page to see if you really read something correctly. Pausing to look up from the page - such as if your friend says hi - would involve pausing the screen. And heaven forbid that you instinctively look away, such as if you trip or if a fly buzzes near you! Then you'll have to rewind (is there a rewind button?) to find the individual word you left off on.

Reading will no longer be a pleasurable activity, but a race. Just try to truly understand the meanings of these sentences going as fast as they are. Are you not more concerned with reading fast, instead of understanding it? And it's not speed reading; people can read fast and still understand the content. It's skimming. You can't really comprehend individual words. It's best if you see the words around it, the context, and then form a picture from the sentence as a whole. Everything mixes together.

This kind of stuff scares me because this app is being hyped as being able to revolutionize reading. It's incredibly technology and science, for sure. But it's not incredible art, and reading is art. Reading is understanding. If this really will be present in all forms of reading (such as on phones and tablets) I'm going to get pretty annoyed pretty fast.

It's not to say that I don't like this app, don't get me wrong. I love science and technology, and I think this app can be used very well in situations where speed is key. But speed is not key in hobbies where one desires to have fun and relax. I rush and rush through much of my day; reading is supposed to be fun. If I rush through my hobbies...honestly, I'll probably puke. It's too much rushing and I'm sick of it.

What I am really scared of is that this app will actually hinder reading. People won't want to read novels as much because it's just not fun anymore. It's a race. And although they'll think it's cool to read one novel on the Sprintz, do you think they'll want to read another? Five? Ten? Instead of helping reading, this app might actually discourage it (which is incredibly dangerous for any society).

Maybe if I just put the speed of the program on really slow, I'll be fine. But if I do that, then heck, why do I need the app in the first place? I'll just become a CEO or politician or college student and then I'll find a good use for this app :D

How do you guys feel about this new app?

P.S. Last night was a big night for me. 11:21 p.m. was when I finished editing the book that I've taken 1.5 years to write!!!! AAAHHH!!!!!!!!!! XD Now, off to beta readers!! I am very, very excited! WOO!


  1. Haha, we need an app so we can write all that loveliness that's in our heads into a full blown, and completely edited, novel in 77 minutes. Cuz my fingers never write it the same way.

    I don't know how much this app worries me, but it sure wouldn't interest me! Oddly interesting.
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

  2. I tried to read the slow one on that link. Missed words and want to go back. Won't work for me. lol