A couple of weeks ago, a fellow friend and 9ruler Gnorb decided to buy a typewriter so that he can work on his writing. He does explain why he choose to do so in his post. It doesn’t make him insane and in fact, I see his point in its entirety. Naturally I had to comment and called him a sentimental romantic for going back to such things, but in our 21st century of high-tech gadgets designed to our lives easier, could any of us take away everything we grew up with?
As much as I love the smell of musty pages on a book or the “clickity clackity” sound of a typewriter as you work on it, my mind will always ask “Is there anything I can do or get that would make this better?”. To be honest with you, I’m all for the bleeding edge. That’s the kind of geek that I am.
While they may not be the most expensive technology in its range, it’s still something I value as indispensable luxuries to my daily life which I can afford. My desktop, my MP3 player, my mobile phone, my camera, my tiny laptop, my shoulder holster and various other accessories that come with it. I have long since read electronic copies of books in the place of their paperback versions. Long since resorted to RSS feeds for the latest news than tomorrow’s newspaper today. I’m plugged into the net almost 24 hours a day never far away from accessing it in the case I miss out something I don’t want to. I wear so much bleeding edge on myself so often that I feel almost naked without it.
In almost every sense of the word, I have spoilt myself with the by-products of the 21st century. Yet it doesn’t mean I take for granted what came before. With e-books, I still buy the paperback versions because there is no substitute for a good page turning on a cold winter night alongside a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. I still handwrite my notes and letters because I want it to mean something to me or the person who is going to receive it. I still turn the computer off when there isn’t a need to use it because…well…why should it be on when I don’t need it anyway?
I still hold on to that past despite my fix on the latest and greatest because some part of me still believes in that old magic. The kind of magic that put us to sleep as children. The kind of magic made us weep in laughter and sadness. The kind of magic that touched our lives simply because we’re connected not to the world wide web, but connected to a world wide reality. Where every push, every flip, every must and every click brings us back to a world we thread on our own two feet. Where our imaginations aren’t disconnected from a reality that they were made from. That kind of magic, you simply can’t create any more with technology today no matter how much you tried.
I’m not sure if the younger generation today understand the concept of that old magic the same way some of us do. It’s easier to hold on to the solid reality of books and a pen when you’ve always used it for most of your life. It’s harder still when writing for you means typing it on a phone keypad or a full keyboard. But I doubt that the nostalgia that is “low-tech” will ever die out. Maybe in the future, it’ll live on as fads, like how people my age treat the swinging 60’s and hippie 70’s, horribly blown out of proportion and a tad bit embarrassing to look at. For now at least, I’m still too young to see that happening.
So while I might not see myself using a typewriter any time soon or shed my technological accessories in favour of a more Luddite lifestyle. I will at least hold on to the parts that still remember in joy and wonder. Whether it be books or a handmade gift. This kind of magic is not something I can easily part with. I’m sure you understand.
Not for all the advancements in the world, can it replace the simplicity of enjoying a moment shared, with the sun shining on your face, with a book in hand and a someone else in another, in the world that’s still very real.