To the editor:
I am confident that we can agree the community ideals marked by neighbors and friends gathered on the front porch in open agreement and disagreement on all life topics and engaging face-to-face is all but dead. In past Rockwellian times, the coffeehouse became the dominant forum for community debate and the sharing of everyday life events. Sadly, this is changing as well.
The editor of “Espresso,” a free newspaper limited to coverage of life in coffeehouses throughout greater San Diego, was being interviewed recently by National Public Radio. When asked what he thought the greatest change in the life of area coffeehouses over the last year was, he readily said, the noise level. People used to talk. Now, although many come in groups, they engage silently with their laptops, not with one another. The editor and I share the experience of being asked to be quieter by our neighbors stroking their keyboards.
Wow. The local coffeehouse isn’t what it used to be — isn’t what it is supposed to be. Maybe the local answer is in the opening of our new library serving coffee. Leave the coffeehouse to those of us that value “sharing thoughts, stories, perspectives and everyday life with animation, conviction and love of community.”
Maybe it is time we examine what we are losing, individually and as a community, as we become increasingly obsessed with “glass and keyboard.” Let’s not lose the most valuable skill known to the human race: the ability to reach one another and community through face-to-face, verbal communication.