Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about media. We discussed how much the way we communicate has changed. Downloading a book seems to be the way to go for many people today. I have a notepad with that ability, but every time I have thought I might give it a try the desire to hold an actual book in my hands stops me. I love the feel of a book, to turn the pages instead of sliding my finger across the face of the notebook. Perhaps the resistance is because I am a writer. I have a shelf full of books from my childhood, some with covers torn and others with pages brittle, but they are treasures from the past and full of memories. I can remember how old I was when I read most of them. They cannot be deleted when I’m done reading, or when my kindle or nook are full. There’s just something about a bookshelf full of books that brings me a sense of satisfaction. You can tell so much about a person by looking at what they read. I suppose I might adjust in time. I did when records became eight tracks, then tapes, then CDs/DVDs, and when floopy discs gave way to discs and when my desktop became a laptop and now I mostly use a notebook.
I remember a time when if we had something to commuicate we talked in person. But you had to walk or get in the car to do that so it became quicker on the phone, even if they lived across the street. My parents had a party line phone, which meant if someone else was talking you had to wait your turn. That would probably drive today’s instant generation into a nervous breakdown. Then we had a one party phone, but it was still attached to the wall so some brilliant soul invented long cords which stretched into another room. Great for multitaskers or mothers for short! Soon we got portable phones so you could actually take the handset with you and tuck it under your ear while managing family matters. E-mail became a must if someone wasn’t home. Voice mail was better yet. You could actually leave audible words. Cell phones were next and they are great when you have service, and they do offer lots of other conveniences besides being a phone. Still it’s kind of nice to be unreachable at times. I often see people with a phone on their ear as if it were an appendage. Are they so important that they must be in constant contact with someone on the other end of the line? E-mail has become passe for the current generation and texting is the rage. This evolved to short cut texting. I must admit I don’t like it. I don’t always understand the shortcuts. When someone agrees with you, they might just text K. I had to ask the first time what that meant. For those of you who are not in the know it means OK. How much longer would it take to text OK? A nano second? Or better yet to pick up the phone. I miss hearing a voice. I bought the bill of goods that all of these improvments were to save time, but then why does it seem I never have enough time? Sigh, progress. I think I’ll just go and read a book. From my bookshelf of course.