It’s difficult to know if when writing “In the Beginning Was the Word”, that Christine Rosen knew that her article, lamenting modern society’s inability to read the printed word, would be reproduced in tiny font in a textbook, making it virtually unreadable. By freebasing No-Doz and horsewhipping myself, I was able to power through the article and receive the message, which was basically that I’m too lazy and stupid to read her article.
Okay, maybe I’m being a little harsh. It’s just that although her article makes several valid points, it struck me as a little oversimplified. I am a voracious reader – I inhale large novels and biographies all year long. I just finished Kitty Kelly’s unauthorized biography of Oprah Winfrey, which was in the vicinity of 600 pages. I resent her implication that we are heading backward to illiteracy because of our internet usage.
The part that struck me as spot-on was the part about “social narcissism”. Facebook and Twitter have made us into our own biggest fans. We post and tweet our thoughts and accomplishments and then wait with bated breath for confirmation from our friends, family and colleagues. We don’t seem to be interested in what others are up to; we just want them to know what we are up to. We drop everything when our email “pings” even though we know that its most likely junk. We crave validation, and we search for it online.
So, here’s where the irony comes full circle. The person who was probably the most interested in “In the Beginning Was the Word” and got the most out of it was the author herself. Now, where is that “like” button? Hopefully if I “like” her article, she will reciprocate and “like” mine. Let’s just hope she doesn’t take the time to read it…