Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Flick of a Page

I am a glutton for technology; I am the complete opposite of a Luddite. I often fantacise of a day where even our bomb cars will have an onboard computer, that’s what I am living for. Smartphones, RFID Barcodes, affordable GPS navigation systems, a computer system is in pretty much any young person’s home, some carry them next to their junk or in their handbags, that’s where we are now, and I love it. In a nutshell, I find it difficult to find an objection in any advancement presently or to be available in the future, except this tiny little thing that I can safely say will be a concept exhibited behind glass in a museum within the next century, the market that the Amazon Kindle, iPad and any other eBook reader are building to eradicate this little thing that I would love to see impervious to our ever-changing world, and that concept is the flick of a page.

Don’t take my preference to hard-copy as bias, as I mentioned, I possess a massive moaner for technology, in fact, a great portion of my reading happens in front of the screen of my computer, which is alright but you see, when I have felt more than inclined to read a large piece of writing from the web or sent to me by a friend, I often have the impulse to read it on my phone so that I can simply hold what I am reading, however, not even that seems to suffice because once I open whatever it is on my phone, I similarly feel the need to see what I am reading splashed down onto a piece of paper. I’m not writing this to bash eBook reader devices either; they are a great little innovation and it would be fantastic to have to carry around with you, it’s just what they are provoking that I fear.

It’s just that physical element in possession that I, and the many others that I assume can agree with me, am responding to. It goes the same for films, music, tickets, and perhaps even in the further future, newspapers; they are all going down the same path. Personally for me, a fraction of the joy in any musical purchase is, as I have mentioned before, flicking through the album art while the new music is playing; I love running my fingers across the cover of a book and looking to the back for the blurb; I like being able to walk into a convenience store early morning and grabbing a paper, despite the fact that I could pull up the same headlines on my mobile; even sticking concert tickets up on my wall has become a ritual, no matter what anybody says, nothing beats those little things that make these types of purchases just that little bit better, but now with the implementation of online digital movie/music stores, news sites beginning to charge for its content much like they do with their newspapers, and of course, the eTicket option, those joys now have the foundation under them that is required of them to be forgotten. Sure, today these methods of possession are just another option in our day-to-day lives, maybe even in thirty years this will still remain the case, but one day that option will no longer be present, and I never want to see the day where trying to buy a newspaper or an album on CD is like it is trying to buy a new release film on VHS at present day.

Technology is great; don’t get me wrong, I bow down to it. Thanks to technology, we no longer even need to leave our homes to do activities that thirty years ago would have been considered impossible to do without leaving your home, not only that but it gives us twenty-four hour access to libraries of information no matter where we are in the globe, however majority of the digital advancements that are simply abolishing the demand on paper which, although I do realise are assisting in the preservation of the earth, also have the potential to wash away the sentimentality in such purchases that I personally hold dear. For my own sake, I am just hoping that this sort of advancement is something that is implemented after I am long gone, I mean, people don’t have vinyl record collections for nothing.

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