Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Shall Not Be Moved


I suppose I'm a bit of a Luddite. My cell phone is a cheap model, kept only out of necessity. It is a very bare-bones, non-smartphone type flip phone, and I keep the very bare minimum plan on it that I can get away with. 

My computer is old, needs to be upgraded or replaced and for the most part, cannot play videos. It is slow and cannot have too many programs open at once. My darling tells me it has speakers, but I haven't figured out how to access them. I am not proficient in coding language, though I am making a begrudging effort to learn HTML and javascript for the sole purpose of improving upon my blog.

I have not used my scanner in several years, and I am not even certain it still works. I don't believe I still have the installation software to link it to my laptopasaurus. And I'm not certain they'd be agreeable, even if I did.

My televisions are old; one is high-def, but it is one of the old, gigantic high-defs that require cables that are no longer commercially available (and I have not used this television in months). Speaking of cable, mine is basic, and the only reason I have it a'tall is that it is included with my flat. I've gone the better part of the last decade without access to television.

I do not have devices such as ipods, ipads or tablets of any sort in  my home. The most high-tech items I own, in fact, are my gaming consoles, and it took some convincing to get me to budge from my old-gen systems to current ones.

I do not download...well, anything. I still buy hard-copy (i.e., CD's, DVD's) movie and music content. Likewise, I do not upload anything, either.

I'm certain I have driven my point home by now. My tech, for the most part, is ten years behind, at best. And it's by choice.

Recently, my sister and several of my friends have been opining to me the joys and benefits of e-readers. You can buy books very cheaply (including required college curriculum), store them all on this tablet-esque device, even publish your own works on a Kindle or a nook. One of the biggest advantages is that you can store many books...and it still weighs no more than the tablet, so when you move, you pack it in its case, instead of packing boxes and boxes of heavy, paper-from-trees books and then have to hire burly men to move them for you. This also makes it incredibly green and eco-friendly, as no trees have to be culled and processed for the making of your e-book, as it is all machine-translated code.

To this, I reply: Poppycock! I have thus far been unconvinced to purchase one of these devices, and I shall not be swayed now. To me, there really is nothing like a real book; its weight, present in your hands, the feel of the spine in your fingers, the smell of the paper, and the printed text. There's nothing like turning pages on an actual book. Even though my recent interest in law books have introduced me to some very large, heavy books with very fine print, it's nothing that a large magnifying glass can't remedy. Even though you probably could zoom in on that tiny text and not look like you're going blind at a very young age whilst reading said law books in public with an e-reader...I'm willing to take that chance.

I even had a long discussion on this topic with my mother-in-law several weeks ago; she concurred that there really is nothing like a real, good book, and she would not be purchasing one of these devices for herself in the foreseeable future. Even though this woman is very much more technologically literate than I; she has one of those new-fangled iphones that, for the life of me, I cannot figure out. And the fact it talks back is just plain creepy to my antiquated sensibilities.

Additionally, the over-availability of modern technology in general is causing us to not only lose touch with the reality beyond our front doors, but to forget how to personally connect with one another...or for the younger generation, never to learn how to connect with others face-to-face to begin with. It is becoming a lost art, as kids sit side-by-side, buried in their cell phones, texting each other instead of really interacting, really communicating. I fear it is this over-presence of technology that is creating a plethora of social disorders in our youth. And once they reach working age they are in for a horrible shock, as they are plopped into social situations that require real interaction, with no coping skills. I'm not saying e-readers caused this, of course, but I feel that they are but a small part of the problem, as they begin to make libraries and book stores (and the interaction that goes with them) obsolete.

So, call me a Luddite if you must, but I shall not be moved. Besides, moving those big ol' boxes of books yourself is part of the joys of owning them; they're very real, very present, and you usually get a very nice back rub afterwards. As long as you do the moving yourself, that is. Besides, it's good exercise! 

And when I pen my memoirs, they shall be written, at least in part, on my Royal Standard No. 5...or upon the Oliver that I am still pining for, and shall have, eventually.

My words (and heavy, throwable books!) are my weapon.

-Anna Strad.


  1. In my defense that Kindle was purchased because my textbooks went from the good old fashioned paper bound texts to digital texts...I hate digital textbooks! However, downloading them to a Kindle allowed me to take my textbooks with me to work, or where ever else I might go. I haven't used it for much since graduation except to download ebooks that are not available in print, and which are usually free.

    Smack you upside the head!

    1. Defensive much, dear? You know you don't have to be. I am aware that you're almost as much of a Luddite as I!

      *Ducks and takes off running*