Visual content affecting reading culture, says Author

Published March 15, 2024 on Punch newspaper

A creative writer and author, Mr Akin Akingbogun, has said the high amount of visual content on social media has reduced reading culture and affected the attention span of readers.

Akingbogun a graduate of Civil Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, who recently published a novel titled, Dreams from Yesterday,’ explained that reading could be improved through innovative ways like using  short story writing, interactive storytelling, short videos with voiceovers

He said, “Due to the high amount of visual content on social media competing with traditional books or online readers, the attention span of readers has reduced drastically.

“Lengthy novels only appeal to a small section of regular readers, and the messages and learnings are often lost to a great number of readers.

“Short story writing, while not new, is a dynamic approach to keeping readers engaged long enough for their attention span.”

“We need to find innovative ways to get readers to spend time reading without being invasive. This would include using interactive storytelling, short videos with voiceovers, and other similar approaches.”

He added that his storybook, ‘Dreams from Yesterday,’ targets a range of readers, from teenagers to senior citizens, saying it depicted life scenarios that every reader could relate to and learn from.

‘Dreams from Yesterday’ is a compilation of 14 short stories, drawing attention to common societal issues ranging from teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, terrorism, depression, peer pressure, youthful exuberance, serenity, death, and love.

Akingbogun explained “The stories are written from an unusual perspective to leave the reader asking questions about our norms, values, and things we take for granted. It is intended to get readers to view issues from the lens of those involved.”

Utibe Hanson, a literary and cultural theorist, said, “Dreams from Yesterday, possesses great aestheticism with new historicistic underpinning. The stories in the collection enjoy a unique stylistic vehicle of conveyance as dictated by the various thematic preoccupations that form the subjects of the stories. Akingbogun is versatile with his thematic explorations, as the stories in the collection cover almost every known tenable social issue.”

Some titles in the book are Old Town Road, You Can’t Kill a Dead Man, Miss Gullible, What Have You Done?, Cute Little Devil, Baby Daddies. Dreams from Yesterday, Peeping Tom, and others.


About the writer

Grace Edema

The PUNCH Senior Correspondent, Grace, has over 17 years experience covering education, arts, business and health sectors. She’s a graduate of Sociology.


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