I Still Like It Real…So Sue Me…

October 5, 2011

I still love the feeling of getting up very early (before 5:00 AM) and going out to the driveway to get the two newspapers we receive each morning. I love taking the wrappers off and feeling the actual newsprint as I separate and order the sections in the order I want to read them. And later setting aside the ones I know my wife Lauren likes, so she can just dive in. I really like doing that. (When she joins me, it’s even better!) Sitting down then with those newspapers for thirty or forty minutes–and a couple of cups of coffee–while the rest of the house and most of my corner of the world is still snugly asleep is a constant source of joy and comfort in my life.

Sure, I know that some of that news has already been superseded by subsequent events but I don’t feel like I need to know absolutely everything in real time. Soon enough, I’ll open my computer for business reasons and find out the latest “breaking news” but, in the wee hours, I’m OK with being a few hours behind the curve.

I still love reading a real book or magazine, too. Sure, I know how easy and convenient Kindles, etc. are, but, to me, they are cold, electronic devices that probably do indeed make the actual process of reading quicker and easier, but at the cost of the charm and the feel of  something real  in my hands. I wonder how soon bookshelves will become as anachronistic as pay phones?

Even though I do sometimes watch movies on my computer for my work, I really dislike the whole process. Most movies are not made to be seen on a computer; hence, my “right on, you go” support for Regal Cinema’s “Go Big or Go Home” campaign. Oh, and Netflix basically just told those of us who don’t like digital downloads that we are second class citizens. Thanks for that, guys. Great PR idea. Not.

As you might have guessed by now, I really have a problem with the overuse of technology in general because I think that  all the emails, texting, facebooking, tweeting, etc. are seriously diminishing our ability to really communicate as human beings. Perhaps less important, but still regrettable, is the fact that so many people seem to have lost the ability to spell. “Ur” is texting’s version of “you are.” Ugh. Oops. Maybe that should be “ug”.

In my heart, I feel that there a lot of us out here in baby boomer land who are not as enamored as others are of the “virtual” technological epidemic of our times.

I for one still like it real.

What do you think?


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Asha Hawkesworth October 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

I like a lot of the new technology, but I also really look forward to my newspaper over coffee in the morning. I don’t think it has to be either/or. I don’t think the physical books, papers, music, etc. will go away entirely… Well, the music CD might. I would never watch a film on my computer. We did that once, because it was a sneak preview, and that was the only way we could view it. Miserable. We do have a Roku box, however, so we can watch the digital content on our TV. We love it.

For home, I think we’re heading toward having our digital content in the “cloud.” Our music will live in the cloud, accessible anywhere. Our movies will live there, too. We’re considering buying kids’ shows from Amazon that way because frankly our kids are too rough on the DVDs. (Harry broke one.) So really, I think our delivery method is changing, but we’ll still need and want the content. I don’t think that the cinema experience will go away, either.

When I lived in Austin, some folks started an independent theater downtown that had a great formula, sort of like what they do at the Baghdad here. They put tables in the theater, waited on you in the theater (it did not interrupt the film experience at all), and instead of ads before the film, they showed a half-hour of related content that was often amusing. For example, before “Death to Smoochy,” they showed an episode of “Barney.” They also made their own hilarious ad spots about NO talking or cell phones, or they’ll take you out. And they will. They were so successful that they opened two other theaters, and my husband (at the time) and I went to a movie every single week, even if we weren’t that interested in the film. It was just really fun to do, and often our friends would meet us there. Good times.


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