Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Type-Writer Vs. the I-Pad

Two writers who had never met found themselves sharing the same table at an over-crowded coffee shop one Thursday afternoon. The first writer was a fifty-four year old gentleman, wearing a nice cardigan sweater and khaki pants. The second writer was a twenty-nine year old, female college professor. She wore blue jeans under a white spring dress. Both had an air of confidence and composure.

The gentleman typed on his keypad with his I-pad turned horizontal upon the table.

The young lady typed on a manual type-writer of a more recent vintage.

Within minutes the noise of the manual type-writer got on the nerves of the man. Eventually, he felt compelled to speak, "Ma'am, is there anyway you could conduct your business with a bit more quiescence?"

The young lady raised her head with a clear expression of annoyance. She responded, "I'm sorry sir, but this is how my device works. I'd move to another place in the shop, but all the tables are full. Do you mind if I continue?"

"No, not at all," replied the man, though with a tone that expressed that he did mind quite a bit.

A few minute interlude commenced where the woman continued to type. The man's nerves reacted again to the pounding of the keys. Finally, he said, "Ma'am, might I ask you what provoked you to use such an ancient writing device?"

Her keying stopped momentarily, with her fingers suspended over the keys, demonstrating a clear displeasure for a second interruption, she replied, "I find I am generally less distracted when I use devices not connected to the internet." She quickly went back to her work.

"Oh...I see," said the man. "But do you find it an inconvenience to not be able to save your work or easily edit your pages?"

The woman made a resolution to desist from work and engage in the conversation. She turned and answered, "There are definitely drawbacks to this different technology, but I find many of the perks quite rewarding."

"Oh, do explain, please," petitioned the man.

"Well," the woman pointing now to the I-Pad, "My device doesn't need an outlet or a battery. I don't have to search high and low for a wi-fi cafe. I don't need a printer. I am never interrupted by an email or a request to update my software. I don't get sidetracked checking Twitter or Facebook. And when I want to use an intentionally eye-catching grammatical error, it is not corrected by auto-correct. There are just a few. Do you mind if I get back to work now?"

"Certainly, certainly," hinted the man, but he couldn't stop from speaking, "I bet for a girl your age the type-writer is a bit of a novelty. But I grew up learning to type on those things with all my classmates. I remember the ink getting on my clothes. I remember the mechanical glitches. I'm thankful to be done with that ol' fashioned toy and to have now moved onto the height of 21st century ingenuity."

"Yes," remarked the girl (with a sassy air to be sure), "I find most people in your generation ready to throw out the old and move onto the new without much hesitation."

The man cleared his voice, "Excuse me, young lady..."

"Yeah, my dad moved on from my mom when she got a bit too old too. Then also, he raised me on church, integrity, and faithfulness. But it seems those three things got ol' fashioned too and he's moved on to bigger and better things. Now, Sunday is for golf, integrity is history, and faithfulness lasts as long as his 3-month long relationships with his 35 year-old girlfriends."

"Now, you just wait a minute, missy. Just because you have some unfortunate experiences with your father, doesn't mean you can just go around accusing every person in his generation you meet."

"True enough Mister. I'm just sick of every person I meet thinking something that is new, flashy, and fashionable is of greater value than something that has gone before. It is the old ideas and old inventions that have stood the test of time. Just because something works for now or is accepted now doesn't mean it's not another 'advance' in humanity's devolution. I'll take my grandparents type-writer and their ol' fashioned morals, not because they are popular, but because they seem to bring about a deeper joy and livelihood than the 2.0 models and ideas of the 21st century."


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