Are eReaders ruining our social interactions AND our communities?
Two things I’ve read lately have given me pause. The first was this blog on the NYTimes website very descriptively titled “How eReaders Destroyed My Love Life" which is about how the author used to strike up conversations with literate men about their reading choices and now because of the SCOURGE of eReaders, has no idea what they are reading, so can’t talk to them.
And then there’s this piece on Salon (in a FABULOUSLY named blog called “My Tiny Hipocrisy”) “I Don’t Support the Bookstores I Love” about how the author loves to browse for books in bookstores, but buys them from Amazon. I am mildly guilty of this sin as well, although I tend to buy my books from the iBookstore. Although I’m not sure that is really much BETTER.
I try not to talk to people on the subway, (although I did have a funny conversation on a subway platform last night with the guy who had been the maitre’d at the restaurant I had been in in Brooklyn Heights). BUT, I’ve have many lovely conversations with strangers about eReaders—which one I have, what do I recommend they buy, etc.
It’s funny how something that really is a very niche market—books and digital reading in general—is being blamed for so much—the crash of a love life, the destruction of the social fabric of communities. When really it is OUR fault. We’re being little hoarding digital nerds who aren’t communicating. Also, when there were lots of books on subways there also wasn’t social networking. Don’t we feel closer to our friends because of Facebook? Google Plus allows us to select our most favorite friends and only share intimate details with them. Isn’t this PROGRESS?!
But, I digress. I am resolving (I’ve done this before…) to buy books locally (I bought a book at The Strand last week!) and to ask one cute stranger what he is reading on his eReader.