Saying that iPhones, iPods, and computers in general have made society one big blob of anti-social doo is the observation of the year and the understatement of the century. Technology, in all its mind-boggling splendor, is amazing. But it's also made us crappy at being human. This we know.
Well, now we can chalk up another piece of technology, a seemingly innocuous one -- hell, a seemingly positive one -- to the downfall of mankind: E-readers. Yep, the clipboard-esque things that make reading fundamental isn't just depriving you of the musty smell and the cold, hard touch of an actual book, it's totally wrecking your love life.
In a recent New York Times Complaint Box essay, one writer laments over how e-readers, in all their unmarked secretiveness, have robbed her of a good pick-up line. No longer can she say, "I love that book" to the cute stranger on the subway. Because, let's face it, if she did it to someone reading a Kindle, it would just be a creepy violation of personal space.
And it's not only love connections that are being taken away from us. It's good old-fashioned human interaction in general. Books spark conversations amongst people -- whether it be between a man and woman, or two women. When you've read, and liked, a book you see someone else reading -- or if you're currently reading the same book -- you want to let them know. And that's nice. Because talking to other people is nice. And, let's face it, right now, it's not something we do in copious amounts.
On occasion, the sight of a real book has even prompted me to go out and buy a copy of my own. If someone was reading something with an interesting cover -- not that one should judge in such a manner -- it's motivated me to research the book or the author, and purchase one for myself. I have found good books this way. It's a shame we are losing out on this, too.
So, just when we thought technology couldn't possibly make us any more alienated and borderline misanthropic, here comes this nice New York Times essay proving us wrong. I'm just happy it was online so I could share it with you. Because Lord knows the last time I actually bought a newspaper.
Do you have an e-reader?
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