Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Will Libraries & Bookstores Be Obsolete Like Blockbuster & Mom & Pop Movie Rental Stores?

When I was around 18 years old, I wrote a book. It was a fictional love story about two women who were just coming out of the closet. It was also in one of those black and white composition notebooks - handwritten. Can you even remember the last time you wrote something at great length with a pen and paper? It's kind of sad today and I know I'm totally guilty of it too, but we are all microblogging and shortening great stories into 140 characters or less.  We're posting our deepest thoughts and adventures onto Facebook with only photos and a few words. We're downloading ebooks and not holding a printed out paperback or hardcover book and reading it from front to back, getting lost in every single word. There's a movie for every book and it's quite rare to hear, "the book was better" these days because nobody reads anymore. And if they do, it's the electronic version - which is fine.

But hold up…

Technology has advanced, so to keep up, we advance too. God forbid you're in an airport or hospital and your iPhone runs out of juice. Everyone is slammed up against a wall plugged into an outlet trying to reach whoever or perhaps, scrolling down a social media feed. And just because someone doesn't pick up an old fashioned book certainly doesn't mean they are not educated or 'less than' - it means it's just a different world now. For me, I find myself reading a lot of news articles and informative journalism that I would have never indulged in if it were the newspaper version. I've gained more interest in politics and current events than ever before. With that, it encourages me to get proactive in things that are important to me. So for those who choose not to stick their noses into a physical old fashioned book - I bet they have more awareness about what's going on in their own communities and surroundings. The old fashioned books just cannot do that for you. We have stepped into a world that gives us the latest information at the tip of our fingers. We're no longer interested in sitting on a huge cushy oversized chair in a cafe just to read something…that cannot update. But I do miss grabbing a latte, flipping through the pages of a book that would let me forget about my own world. Double edged sword, I guess.

We need updates!

Everybody values different things to some degree more than others. Even when you go to the beach, it's not a book they're reading, but a flat electronic smartphone. In restaurants (which is a pet peeve of mine), people are texting constantly, especially if they are alone at the bar. We are glued to these phones - in fact, it's become more of an appendage. Think about it: never before, could you have FaceTimed your mom to show her what's going on in your new college. Never before could you text someone 'real time' and let them know you'll be running late. Never before could you check your email for that important message from your boss and never before, could you take photos and videos and send them to your best friend who lives across the world. I mean - if we knew back in 1980 that we would have this kind of technology, we would've chuck all of our digital calculator watches that had the Atomic Robot game right in the garbage bin. And if you can remember that, welcome to the 40 & older club.

Even blogging in itself has become fossilized due to the short attention spans that social media has programmed into our minds.  We want short, accurate information and with that, I have noticed a huge problem with many people: their grammar. With that being said, I know I make a typo here and there, or is it "their", or is it, "they're"? People have no clue how to spell or use the correct words. Just makes you wanna lose it. Not loose it. And to be more of a grammar nazi, I have also experienced the wonderful joys of autocorrect. So, with the help of autocorrect, you can now say some really off the charts stuff. Isn't that ducking great? Can't even curse with it. My point is, because of microblogging and the lack of truly reading a book from front to back and appreciating the written word - we have now caught ourselves in a world full of terrible grammar with little to nil attention spans.

Even when you watch the news, they have the anchorperson going on about one story, while you can dip down and watch the ticker display the stock market numbers, as well as periodic breaking news coverage and more business news that they're sharing on the side of the screen. Who can multitask like this when having their first cup of coffee in the morning? We're all trying to cram everything into our small little noggins, overloaded with information that sometimes isn't even needed.  Have we gone too far? Have we bypassed technology (in our minds) and craving more & more & more updates and more & more & more technology? And on an average, how many times do you check your Twitter, Facebook or other social networking site per day? Be honest. And how many books have you read (the real book) this year? I'm almost 100% positive that one day, all libraries and bookstores will close up just like Blockbuster did, because we have everything at the tip of our fingers. What do you think?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!