Factors Causing Low Reading Interest among Indonesian Students

Author: Tiar Hutabarat

Reading is a window to the world that can provide extensive information to increase knowledge in everything. Unfortunately, student today still ignore the importance of reading. This makes their reading interest very low. According to UNESCO, Indonesia ranks 69th out of 127 countries in reading competence, and only 1 out of 1000 people in Indonesia loves reading. Why does the low reading interest occur in Indonesia? It is caused by various factors. The following section list four of the major causes.

The first factor is related to the environment. Just like the other habits formation, environment play a great role in reading habit establishment. With good and conducive reading infrastructures and atmosphere (books, nice places, role models, and appreciation) reading interest can grow. If the environment, on the other hand, is inconvenient and unhelpful, for instance, no people around us loves reading, we will also dislike it. Therefore, preparing a conducive environment is very important to hone reading interest.

The second factor is online gaming. Most of today’s students like playing online games. They say online games can release their fatigue and stress, but the fact is that they do it excessively. The have even been opiated so that forget almost anything if they have started playing online games. Such extreme fondness of playing online games makes reading uninteresting for them. In line with this, it is very urgent to make them realize that reading can also be an effective means of releasing one’s fatigue and stress.

The third factor is social media. News on social media is endless. Social media also facilitates instant and brief communication, including texting. Most of these news and texts are very short and use daily easy language so that people are not required to employ much thinking to read them. No wonder why many people spend hours every day reading and chatting through social media. Unwittingly this makes people lazy to read books.

To conclude, the absence of conducive environment, excessive fondness of online games, and spending too much time using social media have caused Indonesians to have low reading interest. Therefore, providing conducive environment for reading and making people aware of the importance of reading are two of the main things urgently needed to develop a better interest in reading among Indonesians.

*Thanks to the author of Reading Crisis among Indonesian College Students that inspired me to write this essay.

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