Yeah — you’re wrong.
The fact is that it IS the same as the smartphone thing. They’re not talking to each other. They could all be reading completely different papers.
And anyway, only pretentious boneheads whine about people being on their phones or laptops instead of talking to strangers. Because they never stop to consider the following -
1: The person on the phone might be lost and looking up directions.
2: They might have severe social anxiety and are trying to keep calm. I have several friends who use their phones for this reason as well as to keep themselves from cutting.
3: Maybe someone is seriously ill that they love and they’re checking on them.
4: Maybe the person next to them is boring and only wants to talk about stupid reality shows or they have horrendous bad breath.
No one should have to talk to people if they don’t want to. If I’d rather read a book, look at my phone, play video games, etc, it’s my life, so shut up and stop telling me to socialize with strangers.
The newspaper thing is a PERFECT comparison that this has been going on for a LONG time and you’re wrong that it’s not the same. Because it IS.