Never in history has there been a generation with such rapid access to information as ours. In a matter of seconds you can find hundreds of thousands of articles, comments and ‘deep-dives’ on whatever subject suits your fancy.
But, have you ever considered whether or not the way we access that information affects our relationship to it?
Rachael Lopez is a writer and the founding editor of a new print magazine, Soul Tread. Having observed the way she and her fellow millennials adopt a ‘scroll culture’ in the way they consume content, Rachael wanted to create something that makes readers physically slow down when they engage with it, and limits on-screen distractions.
“Even when I’m reading an article online that’s really incredible, I find I’m not really reading it – I’m skim reading it,” Rachael said in an interview.
“And in between that I’m checking Facebook and Instagram and might save it for later. There’s that element of not really reading, and not really taking it in… I love a good Instagram scroll.. but it’s about putting technology in its place and having some time away from the screen.”
It’s not lost on Rachael that print publications aren’t millennials favoured media outlets, but she believes Soul Tread meets a vital need.
“Millennials are quite disengaged from current print media,” Rachael said.
“They spend a lot of their time online consuming content but we found that they’re just so overwhelmed by the digital content that’s coming in.
“[Partly because] it’s just so divisive and American-centric; they want something that’s Australian and more nuanced, and something that speaks to them in their Australian context.”
As a Christian, Rachael also sees how our fast-paced, superficial online behaviours impact on our deep reading of scripture. She feels we need to re-train ourselves to stop, and digest the words we consume.
“If everything we’re looking at is on a surface level and is just little short bursts on your phone, that’s not really training you to really read and understand scripture. It doesn’t help us – I don’t think – in our concentration levels and in being contemplative people and deep thinkers,” she said.
The first issue of Soul Tread’s quarterly publication will be released in December this year, as a thank you to the supporters of the magazine’s Kickstarter campaign, who made it possible. One thing Rachael is most excited about as it debuts is its showcase of local Australian voices bringing perspective on issues of faith and politics as they apply to our nation.
Given a lot of Christian content comes out of the US, Rachael said, “It’s nice to have a break and listen to someone who’s Australian, and that really understands the culture here”.
“[It’s important we’re] not getting too consumed by all the politics that are going on there, because we have things going on here; we have issues here that we need to deal with and we need to address, and it’s really great to have Australian voices speak into that.
“I really hope [Soul Tread] helps millennials to grow in their faith. One of the things that’s really affected me in the last few years is seeing millennials fall away from the faith, and even fall into the trap of a lot of this divisive content that’s online,” she said.
“So having something that sustains and encourages your faith journey is what we want to provide.”
Visit soultreadmag.com for more information.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media. Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.