Is the Gutenberg era ending?

Is the Gutenberg era ending?

The last two decades in terms of technology development and changes in related trends are not only stunning developments, but also largely unpredictable. Often even specialists in foreseeing the future are not able to predict what news will appear in the coming months, even when it comes to smartphones.

This also applies to computers, because it is not certain whether they are too few years we will need to transmit messages to the equipment with the use of keys. After all, this is related to the written word, which has been with us for millennia.

The written word or pictures?

So what do we primarily notice in recent decades and which can be worrying. First of all, a radical decline in the level of readership. In Poland, over 60 percent of people in 2017 did not read a single book, including many with higher education.

One can ask the question – why do they not read? Most often the answer is simple – we are becoming a picture civilization. Nevertheless, it is also worth bearing in mind that maybe some of us use audiobooks, and here it is difficult to accuse them of not having contact with literature. It is also worth emphasizing that readership has not been falling so rapidly for a few years – it is rather at the same level.

Nevertheless, it is not risky to argue that the rejection of the written word in favor of the picture deprives many of in-depth reflection. The picture is boring quickly, also the excess of pictures, so in this aspect the withdrawal syndrome caused by more and more constant boredom occurs faster and more often.

It is also worth doing some research (although it probably has already been done) what we prefer to watch online – film or picture; film or article?


Here a real revolution took place, sometimes even imperceptibly. Portals are replacing paper newspapers and these defend themselves as much as possible, most likely sooner or later, switching to electronic versions.

We have many examples in the West (including the USA), where paper versions of well-known magazines have already been liquidated. On the other hand, if we look at websites such as „Esquire” or „Washington Post”, we notice that the written word, illustrated with photos, receives a lot of space there – they are not dominated by movies.

Shorthand as a threat ?

One of the main features of the web is the avalanche of information and easy access to it. Most news sites focus on short texts. We will find reportages only on the greater depth of the first page. The style is also very short. Is this a threat?

It seems that there is a question of the above-mentioned deeper reflection, but it is a matter of choosing the recipient of the information.


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