Yesterday, in the waiting room of my doctor’s office an older gentleman said something to me that made me think.
He said “wow” staring at the book in my lap “people still read?”
My reply was “Yes sir, we all read.”
During our lovely discussion, I asked if he reads the newspaper, had a favorite website, or watched foreign films. He said he reads articles on his phone but that doesn’t count. I said “It’s reading, I think it does count.”
Sure, my favorite type of reading is done with a musty smelling library book under a blanket with iced or hot tea in one hand and falling pages in the other… I also love to read psychology articles, WordPress blogs, recipe pages, and much more.
I read on my phone, my laptop, my mailer magazines, my iPad and notebook scribbles. I read as I walk through the stores, glancing at the back of people’s shirts and on the way home, stickers on sporty cars or beefed up trucks. I read the positive quotes written on the cardboard pieces protesters hold up with a smile. I read my missed text messages from loved ones once I park in the driveway.
I read all day, and guess what, so do you. At work, at home, on your phone, on the back of your rice-a-roni boxes and laundry detergent.
We’re all readers.
It doesn’t matter what you’re reading, or for how long or with what device.
You’re actively reading and painting pictures in your head, provoking thoughts, setting goals, and movements for your future. Perhaps you’re reading to escape to a magical world, exploring your emotions through characters or perusing a comic book for nostalgia.
We all blame Facebook for a lot of things, yes, it does bring out some really heinous sides of people, however, it isn’t the platforms fault. You either were already that kind of person… or were not. I like Facebook for connecting as well as informing (when the sources are credible) but the best part about it is, it gets people to read more.
I don’t read all the time, sometimes I want to be read to. I will admit, I read my closed captioning when I’m chewing too loud during a Netflix binge… but what I mean when I say I like to be read to is, I like to watch movies and sitcoms too. Ah, yes, think about it… there it is! Someone is reading to me while I watch the screen. Someone had to write the script. Someone had to create a character in their head and cast someone to fit it, someone had to come up with the dialogue, the decor, the wardrobe. It’s all written and read, my friends.
We shouldn’t judge and blame technology for putting books on the back burner. There are still book readers out there, we haven’t stopped, trust me. We have kept the libraries going and will continue to read and pass along our smelly page books for a long time.
I’ve heard many people accuse others of always looking into their phones but don’t they realize sometimes it’s okay to escape? It actually helps some with anxiety, it helps those with attention disorders and it helps me to bite my tongue when someone is being obnoxious on the train. (It can actually be a public service, trust me.)
You’re not a bad parent for wanting your kid to do his alphabet song, on your phone, with a cartoon giraffe while you eat your first meal of the day at freakin 3pm… You’re not a jerk if you check your phone at a party, maybe you’re shy and looking for a current event to talk about? You’re not rude, you’re reading, escaping, self soothing… you’re being you.
Everything in moderation is alright, simmer it down. We were all ignoring each other with over sized newspapers and cold shouldered cigarette breaks way before the 2000’s.
I, for one, love to escape into a book while waiting for my kids to be dismissed from school, or for when someone is running late. No one is judging me because it is a book and I look like a nerd that’s anti-technology right? (love nerds by the way, I definitely take it as a compliment)
Wrong. I sometimes glance at my phone reading articles for hours, and someone could accuse me then of not being present all they want… oy, who cares. I know I’m a tree hugging, sun basking snow white. I am not ashamed to say sometimes… I’m absolutely not present.
It’s okay, people. Keep reading, ignoring, and being read to. Or don’t.
Whatever you do, enjoy your life if you’re not harming others, and hey, if you’re tired of reading… write!
I speak for the readers when I say, we’d love to read what you write. It’s kind of our thing.
©Angela Silva 2019
Until tomorrow my friends,
None of these awesome images belong to me, all are pinterest found.*