Connected? Maybe not so much.

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Texting, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

I grew up watching my father carry the current book he was reading as he went about his routine of ministering to his congregation. As a kid I would get to spend some summer days riding with him to visit people who couldn’t make it to church due to illness or just old age; sometimes it meant waiting at nursing homes or hospital rooms. I’d have a toy car or truck and he would have a book to while away the time. It became a habit with me also, and helped make the common “hurry up and wait” situation one is faced with in the military bearable. I just kept a paperback book in one of those big pockets army uniforms are famous for.

These days, however, I don’t do that so much, and I miss it. Instead, I usually have my iPhone or iPad out, doing something else.  Oh, I’ve got books I can read installed on them, but it isn’t the same and I’m frequently lured away to edit photographs or read someone’s blog. Not that that’s bad, it just isn’t the same. Also, I don’t think people are as timid about interrupting someone who is reading a book as they are to someone texting; a book is an invitation to conversation. After all, you can see the book title, you may even have read it yourself and a conversation begins. As I watched this fellow using his phone with such attention, I realized that I want to get back, at least in part, to loosing myself in books again, and having conversations with strangers.

Olympus OMD EM1 with a Pentax 70mm f2.4 lens mounted via a Fotodiox adapter and processed with Snapseed on my iPad Air.

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2 comments on “Connected? Maybe not so much.

  1. You could do a whole series on the new hunchback – everyone sitting hunched over, thumbs flailing as they scroll endlessly, lost in whatever they’re squinting at on the screen. Sigh. I admit, I carry a Kindle now instead of a paperback, but the habit of reading while I wait has never gone away :-).

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  2. I’ve noticed that if someone talks to me while I’m reading on a digital device it’s more likely to be about the experience of reading on that device rather than about WHAT I’m reading. The discussion becomes about the medium not the content.

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