If you’ve been on the Internet for more than, oh, 5 minutes, you’ve probably seen the whole “books vs. technology” dichotomy. Or maybe it’s more accurately summed up as “intelligence vs. technology” and “technology is ruining the world.” Regardless, it often ends up putting you into one of two categories: you’re either A.) smart and read books and stay up-to-date in world news or B.) spend your time watching frivolous TV shows and posting on social media.
It ends up spreading the message that you can be smart and enjoy reading and engaging with thought-provoking content OR you can spend time on social media and watching TV shows that ultimately are not super important, but that are entertaining.
I’m so sick of our world being dichotomized like this because it is 100% false.
The fact that book blogs even exist is proof that that dichotomy isn’t real. We all love reading, obviously, which should mean that we fit in group A: the group of people who love to read and because of that, are intelligent. But the fact that we have blogs and use social media (I’m sure 99% of you also use Twitter) should mean that we belong to group B: people who just don’t care about anything important and would rather spend our time posting about our lives on social media.
Why aren’t we allowed to be both of those people at once? Why do I have to always be pondering the existence of man to be seen as someone who is smart and who cares about things? Why am I not allowed to sit and watch Parks & Rec on Netflix and still be seen as a respectable person?
I’m willing to bet that most people who read also watch TV and movies and play video games and do things that don’t require them to be deep in thought 100% of the time. And I’m sick of the other readers who try to act as though they are always deep in existential thought. Because by being so pretentious, they give the rest of us a bad name, making us seem as though we are all pretentious and judgmental.
I’ll even admit that for a few years I stayed away from the online book community because I didn’t want to be a part of a community that was so judgmental. Of course now after interacting with some of the people who make up the book community, I realize that most people aren’t like that at all. But from the outside, that’s what it seems like sometimes. And because of that, I stayed away from this awesome community.
This has mostly turned into me ranting about how annoying I find it when people try to act as though you can’t belong in both of those groups, that you can’t be intelligent and well-read and also enjoy watching Netflix. I could honestly keep going on and on, but for the sake of my sanity (and probably yours), I won’t. I’ll leave it at this: I think we should all keep in mind that people are not so easily divided into groups. You can’t organize people based on one interest of theirs. Not everyone who watches TV or spends a lot of time on social media is frivolous and unintelligent. Similarly, not everyone who reads books is a deep-thinker on their way to unlocking the secrets of the universe. And most importantly, you can love reading and also love watching TV. These traits are not mutually exclusive.