I used to have a Blackberry for work purposes awhile back when I worked for an event photography company. I had to solve a lot of problems, put out lots of fires and the Blackberry was a constant siphon of my attention. When I resigned to focus on some writing projects I turned it in, went back to using an old flip phone, and was happy with that shift in communication leash power.
That was a few years ago, and my wireless contract now was up for renewal, and I had the option of getting a swell new phone for free. So I hemmed and hawed and contemplated getting back into smart phone capabilities, and figured it may be good for producing stuff. I opted for the Blackberry after playing with several other types, iPhone included, because I liked the feel of the Blackberry. I'm not a big touch screen fellow when it comes to typing stuff, I like actual keys.
So for the last few days I've been very distracted by this device. We do live in a distracting age with technology and I've read posts and tweets and statuses of writers griping about the distraction of the internet. While I feel their pain, it is up to the strength of us as writers to pull up the will power to set a device down, and create, write. Dropping one type of communication for a more intimate, personal, playful one. Sometimes I like to write the old fashioned way, pen to paper. For some time I've also feared how the digital age is going to change literature, something I love so much. While we've certainly seen the fall of the big box book retailers like Borders, I do hope smaller independent bookshops can maintain their survival by remaining an active community location with readings and events. Although I think one cannot say "people don't read books anymore" because I think with all of these devices and feeds people are reading possibly more than they have in previous decades. So, for awhile I kind of moaned about the fact that "print" was getting murdered by digitizing of the reading experience. There's certainly a lot of us that prefer the feel of pages. But I sort of don't feel like focusing on the negative. I'm in a phase where I'm okay messing around with this digital device stuff and playing with it as its own form, find its own rhythm of storytelling, which hopefully can still operate as a gateway drawing people back to print. Much the same way that video helps some theatre groups entice people out to see their shows. Print and live theatre becomes a breath of fresh air for the spectator, a time to unplug. Sort of like a waking phase of digital sleep. Often I look forward to dreams as I would a TV show.
And I'm not necessarily talking about the digital as just promo for the unplugged aforementioned. A river might feed into the ocean, but the river is still a trip in and of itself. A river needs exploring. I'm going to leave it at that analogy for now.