Curiosity. A word with a tinkling, magical sort of quality. One source refers to it as, “The fuel for development.” But I read something recently that said there seems to be a curious absence of curiosity in children these days, as they are “raised in a culture of reality shows and endless deconstruction of the melodramas of other people’s lives.” That’s a mouthful, but it does make me wonder. Are kids as curious as they used to be? Do they self-question and self-reflect? Or is most of life one big feeding tube of information for them?
As a writer, this concerns me. A lot. How far do we raise the bar of “story” in order to cultivate curiosity in our readers? I’m speaking in generalities here – I know there will always be those children or young people who read voraciously, for the pleasure of reading. But what about the average child or young adult reader? At what point do we allow the the story to lose its purity as “literature” and be turned into a techno melting pot instituted to capture waning curiosity in the reader? Where do we draw the line? Or do we?