Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Old coot, technology, and change

My husband and I saw Thor over the weekend. I hesitated because 3D movies tend to give me migraines, but I wanted to go because Kenneth Branagh directed, not because Thor is hot.
And you know what? I didn’t come out with a headache. Maybe it’s because the 3D wasn’t all up in your face like others have been, stuff flying off the screen at you. Possibly my attitude toward movie technology is changing. Right up until the next 3D-induced migraine.
            The same thing goes for books. It used to be that I’d covet the big hardcover books, partly because I couldn’t afford them and partly because they seemed so permanent. I’d open a big, heavy book from my grandmother’s shelf, and I felt comforted.
            Then somewhere along the way, my preference turned to paperbacks. Lighter, easier to carry around, you drop them off the boat, and it wasn’t as big a deal. They’re also easier to read in bed—you don’t have to worry about dozing off and konking yourself in the face.
            Enter the Kindle. It is light, fits in my purse, and it doesn’t matter what mood I’m in, there’s an entire library of reading material at my fingertips from comedy to horror to literary. I never thought I’d turn from paperbacks, but I have.
            I also thought I’d never turn from drafting stories on paper to drafting on a computer. It seemed so foreign to be typing my ideas instead of holding a pen and feeling the satisfying scratch against the paper. I’d stare at a blank screen, and my mind went blank. I’d pull out a legal pad and my favorite pen, and the ideas would flow.
            I transitioned in college. I sometimes had four papers due a week—I took the kind of classes that everything was essay. I needed to figure out how to get the words down faster than writing them first and then retyping.
             So now I sit drafting this blog on my computer, the words flying onto the page. I love that part. Will I ever miss drafting on paper? I don’t think so. Sitting at a keyboard is so much more efficient—there’s spell check, Google if I need to research, the thesaurus when I’m looking for just the right word—everything compact and easily accessed.
            The thought of technology fills me with mixed emotion. I lament the movies going to 3D. I miss the unwieldy hardbacks and stiff-spined paperbacks, but the Kindle is now my first choice.
However, I am in NO way sorry to be sitting here pounding out a blog in under half an hour.
Maybe I’m turning into an old coot, resisting technology rather than embracing it. Maybe I long for the simpler times when movies were about the story.
            And maybe Thor is hot. I’ll have to ask around.

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