I don’t text very much. I’m a fast touch typist but I never mastered thumbing the virtual keyboard on a smart phone. And with my vision fading, I don’t spend a lot of time staring at tiny images on my iPhone screen. I spend a lot of time now going to events where actual people gather. I especially like to go to readings by well-known, or not so well known, writers. It gives me a chance to get a flavor of the book and decide whether or not I’ll download a copy from audible. Readings must be very popular because everyone I’ve been to lately has been packed.audible logo

-text screen image

I text screen (fake)

But a very strange thing happens, a lot of people don’t interact with each other. At the last reading I attended, there were about 100 people jammed into a very small space. A lot of them knew each other. And while the noise level is quite high, the reading took place in a bar, most people were multitasking. That’s that polite expression that means they were interacting with their phones while simultaneously talking to someone. That used to be considered rude.

I sort of get it, but is one of the few people scanning the room, a goodly number of them had their heads down texting or surfing the web. Pundits, researchers and old fogeys all complain about the lack of personal contact in our modern technological age. I just see the irony in it. Here are all these people gathered in the physical space to hear a real person communicating orally from a technology (a book) that is centuries-old. But most of those people were at the event because they read about it on the net or somebody sent them a text.

Just a heads up.