Like Moths to a Flame: Social Reading Buzz


July 4, 2013

Years ago, many scholars and so-called experts in the fields of social sciences, psychology, information technology and other related fields predicted that with the coming of internet technology, more and more people—the youth population in particular—will be terrible couch potatoes this time, not with the ‘boob tube’ but with their personal computers.  In a way, they are correct. Hundreds of thousands of households all over the world now have computers (or other gadgets approximating the functions of computers) and internet connection that link them to the rest of the world. As a result, millions of people are glued to their monitors, smartphones, tablets, and other such gadgets for hours and hours on end.

photo credits: Typepad

Because of the substantial amount of time we now get to spend (or as others would put it, “waste”) on the internet, many now also regard it as present society’s bane.  Unlimited and unguarded use of the internet have reportedly put kids’, young adults’ and even adults’ lives in danger, and allegedly continues to corrupt young minds into seeing, hearing and learning about things that are too ahead of their time and age.

However, not everything that can be found on the internet should be considered useless, false, misleading, or unreliable.  There are actually so many good uses of the internet, and if you are careful and smart enough to know which sites are good for you and which can truly make you more productive, then it should not be a thing to avoid or condemn, but rather one that you can take best advantage of in any worthwhile activity you would want to engage in.

Take for example social reading.

At first glance, you may find the sound of that quite ironic.  Isn’t reading supposed to be a (very) personal activity?  One you will truly enjoy on your own, just you and your choice read (and all the characters in it)? But of course, everything has gone social as we know it, including reading.

With today’s social media websites especially for reading sprouting like mushrooms, you realize that one advantage of internet connectivity is helping you choose which books to read next, what genres you should try, why you should grab this book (or why not).  Even before you visit for favorite bookstore (or e-books sales website), you already have a clear idea what it is that tops the lists, and which get five stars and rave recommendations.

Indeed, reading has become a deliciously social affair.  Even our gadgets and electronic readers have their built-in or downloadable apps to help us highlight passages and excerpts we love and share them online without much ado.

Your passion for reading, hence, is much more kindled (pun intended?) by the wonderful world of social media.