Right to write.
First and foremost we have to realize what an age we are living in. Currently, there is a sprawl of generations that have an absolutely diverse and complex views of what our current technology has brought us. There are individuals that were born before the time of the automobile, before television, and before the internet. Our society has went from reading newspapers for information to an instantaneous 24 hour news media where if an event happened nine hours ago, it is considered old news.
I did enjoy Dennis Baron’s idealization (although depressing) regarding how today’s writers find it difficult to physically write, pen to paper. I admit that I am one of these “analog” learners that went down the same path as Baron. I admit, when I was in school for my undergrad, there was no Google. Laptops were not a common place in the classroom. Thankfully I had a state of the art PC with a whopping 20 gig hard drive, which cost me $4,000, and I even had Windows Office. I remember having to write down detailed notes and becoming extremely good at it. So good in fact, it lead to a legal career.
But I have to face it, over time, I became reliant on technology for writing. It was faster, easier and it helped me keep track of what I wrote and to whom. I had fell victim to spellcheck and websites like Purdue Owl and thesaurus.com. Over time, long conversations, and a few cases of wine, I have learned to accept that this was the new status quo. There was no need to be “old school” with how I writing was done. It is just that fact that you ARE writing that counts.
It all came to a realization on day with my great aunt. She was the historian for the local branch of the Italian Catholic Federation, and she has always been a mentor of mine when it came to writing. I came over to pick up her vintage 1960’s Underwood typewriter. I thanked her for giving it to me and that I would take good care of it. She asked me what I was going to use it for. I told her that I wanted to use it to type some class papers. She looked at me funny and said, “Why do you want to do that? Don’t you have a computer?” This resulted in a lengthy conversation, with two bottles of wine, about writing technologies. She told me how my great grandfather always debated with his friends about the future of technology and always informed his naysayers that the pencil is a form of technology. Go grandpa!
So we see how individuals have used technology to improve or expand writers’ potential. My question to all of you is:
What aspects of writing do you think will expand into:
- An art from
- Be obsolete
- Do you think technology will change over the next 50 years