IS READING BECOMING A “THING OF THE PAST”?

The other day while I was on my usual 15 kilometer walk; I had the privilege of being accompanied by a young gentleman. I was into my third kilometer, I think; when he joined in. Almost throughout his walk, he had his head down, with intense concentration, staring at that contraption (what is more commonly known as the “smartphone”).

For a long while I thought, which emergency was it that was so urgent, that he hardly ever lifted his head up to see where he was going? Then I thought, he must be so important, that it required his undivided attention. I think I was his guiding beacon on when to turn at corners and junctions.

I thought he could have been reading a novel filled with intense suspense and excitement, like “The Maltese Falcon” or “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. I don’t think he delved into the works of Plato or others that required contemplation..

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' | IndieWire
1988 movie: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Indiewire

I don’t know what got him so engrossed for him to walk several kilometers around the neighbourhood with him staring at his smartphone.

He is not alone. Much of today’s society is very much like him. They won’t know what to do without their smartphones.

I would like to believe that many of them read e-books and stuff like that on their smartphones. Or do they? I would like to believe that they do. Dream on! After all, I am a dreamer.

Everyone seems to be busy and in a rush always. Modern technology seems to be the answer in being more efficient to save time.. If technology is helping people do a whole lot of things faster, then they should have a whole lot of time freed up each day, right? But people don’t seem to be freer. In fact, they are more busier than they first started out with. This is because with all that time saved in a day, they cramp it with more things to do.

I think that the art of reading could face the same fate as the sundial. People stopped using the sundial when mechanical pocket watches, watches and clocks became popular. They soon forgot how to use these sundials. It went extinct nearly 200 years ago.

These days, many of the younger generation don’t quite know how to tell the time of an analogue watch or clock.

If you are a traveler or tourist traveler (not sure if there is a difference); you may be fortunate to come across one of these sundials or sun clocks. Some of these sundials or sun clocks are on display in several parts of the world but they are mainly meant as decorative items.

sundial | Definition, History, Types, & Facts | Britannica
Sundial Britannica

Now, social media offers a wide variety of platforms and applications like Youtube, Buzzsprout, TitTok, Whatsapp, Twitter , Snapchat, Instagram… and the list goes on…These are all suppose to make sending messages, news, stories easier.

With these apps come distractions – advertisements and other unrelated messages. These are time stealers. The whole point is to get ahead with time. But it may take three times as long to do something because distraction shows up in the form of advertisements, notifications and the bombardment of messages from various platforms. Get this: People are so compelled to look and check their smartphones for messages, etc, even if they did not get any.

Again, modern day technology may be great but it does expose you to distraction. People use Youtube and podcasts in place of reading a book, or articles.

Reading a book, be it a novel, science fiction or any other subject… turning the pages… re-reading paragraphs or chapters that may have caught your attention, highlighting or marking certain words or sentences (make sure that the book is yours or you have the permission from the owner 😄) adds “character” to reading.

If you have to use your smartphone, tablet or computer to read an article or you have dedicated some time to reading each day on your device for instance; temporarily turn off the notifications during your reading session to prevent you from being distracted.

Simon Sinek's Start With Why: Honest Book Review- FASHION INSIDERS
Simon Sinek

Heads up: Simon Sinek’s “START WITH WHY”, is a pretty interesting read. His views and ideas are interesting, considered natural that most people don’t question;. They just follow. Those who disagree with his views, say that his management ideas are not very accurate. It is debatable.

NOTES

sundial is a device that indicates time by using a light spot or shadow cast by the position of the Sun on a reference scale. As the Earth turns on its polar axis, the sun appears to cross the sky from east to west, rising at sun-rise from beneath the horizon to a zenith at mid-day and falling again behind the horizon at sunset. Both the azimuth (direction) and the altitude (height) can be used to create time measuring devices. Sundials have been invented independently in every major culture and became more accurate and sophisticated as the culture developed.

Wall sundial in Žiča Monastery, Serbia.
World’s oldest known sundial, from Egypt’s Valley of the Kings (c. 1500 BC), used to measure work hours.

WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? YouTube.
Entrepreneur

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