Saturday, January 1, 2011

Technology and Irony

Technology is a wonderful thing.  New gadgets are arriving every day and for someone like myself who works in the computer industry for a living - the parade of new "toys" is fascinating and entertaining.

Recent developments have raised interesting questions in my mind however.

Have technological advances contributed to the downfall of arts and literature?

Has the immediacy of communication through email created an atmosphere where formal rules of language have been relegated to a thing of the past?

When is the last time you got an email from a colleague, friend, respected member of the literary community, or family member and found yourself taken aback at the misspellings and grammar mistakes?

I would venture a guess that it was fairly recently, and yet I am sure you did not necessarily "judge" this person for these mistakes, as that was probably not reflective of their true intelligence.

The informal nature of email has somehow made it acceptable to fire off ill formed thoughts and ideas.

Intelligent and well-versed individuals have no idea what impression they are making when they choose speed and convenience over editing and spell-check.

I would even propose that it is quite possible the quality of writing has suffered as technology has enabled the quantity to increase exponentially.

The irony comes into play of course because I certainly hope to take advantage of these advances in technology (namely the Kindle and the ability to self-publish) in order to finally put the proverbial pen to paper.  Technological advances - namely the Internet - will enable me to take advantage of marketing opportunities as well.

Does it make me a "hypocrite" to at once look forward to embracing the technology - and yet part of me is wistful for the simpler times of the past?

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