"While it may look like some domestic version of 'The Matrix' — families sharing a common space, but plugged into entirely separate planes of existence through technology — a scene like this has become an increasingly familiar evening ritual. As a result, the American living room in 2011 can often seem less like an oasis for shared activity, even if that just means watching television together, than an entangled intersection of data traffic — everyone huddled in a cyber-cocoon."
It's a NYT culture article.
Is there a problem here? If a family of 4 were sitting around together reading books, it would seem better than if they were all watching the same show on TV. And yet, with books, you wouldn't be able to IM stuff to each other.
With either books or computers, if you're with other people, you can easily read something out loud to the people in the room and start a conversation. My grandfather used to do that with the newspaper, and I've come to think of it as a kind of proto-blogging.
These days, if I'm reading something and finding it interesting, I might blog it to the whole world and try to start a conversation on line, but we still interact in real space. Meade might read something out loud to me, and that might lead to a long conversation, or it might get one of my all-too-typical responses: 1. "IM me the link," 2. "I already blogged that." 3. "I'm blogging that right now."