Youth readership on the rise because of social media // WJFW Newswatch 12

Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Story By Lilly Zoller

Local News Published 08/10/2021 4:45PM

Rhinelander – “You can completely forget where you are. And another thing that I love about reading is that it can act as Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop says ‘as a window, a mirror or a sliding glass door,” said Alison Kubeny, a summer intern at the Rhinelander District Library.

You may think that social media is the thing driving teens away from traditional childhood activities like reading. But it seems to be doing the very opposite. Kubeny is just one of many young people that loves to read.

“Reading has definitely gone up with the teens,” said Elisha Sheffer, the teen librarian at the Rhinelander District Library.

The surge in book popularity on social media as well as the effects of the pandemic is likely responsible for this trend. Sheffer says that social media has created a community of young readers that has never existed before. She says it’s because of social media’s broad outreach that it has been so influential. Some social media platforms have been especially impactful, though.

“Blowing up because of TikTok and so really anything on TikTok gets attention,” said Sheffer.

Social media users are making their platforms a space to talk about the books they read. This encourages conversation among users and increases knowledge about reading.

“That’s so much of what our teens lack is people that are reading the same books and talking about it with them so to have the social media and have that growing community just bringing everyone together has been really awesome,” said Sheffer.

Kubeny has first hand experience with the role that social media is playing on the reading community. She says that she has watched social media encourage people her age to pick up a book.

“I’m friends with all of my roommates from my undergrad days so it’s fun to see what they’re reading and talk about it together,” said Kubeny. 

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