Some days I entertain the idea of being one of those hipsters who scorn technology and social media. The ones who go around with their worn leather notebooks, always rubbing their pompous hard cover novels in everyone’s faces and talking about how they love being able to “disconnect” with the world and how they absorb things in a different way, untainted by the atrocities of the Internet. Even the odd ones have a certain swagger as they lord their bragging rights over the rest of us weaklings laden by our multiple social media accounts and frozen texting thumbs.
But in this day and age, even these specimens are becoming harder to find as everyone is either already tweeting with one foot in their cyber graves or they’re already well and truly buried with their Kindles and iPads. Nowadays, even the simplest and most harmless activity like reading and writing can be “improved” and simplified with the help of an app or a device. Not that any of us die-hard readers would succumb to these indecorous measures, am I right? There’s an age-old practice to preserve here! However, in case you’re on the verge of admitting defeat, here are some signs to confirm that you’re secretly fighting the same battle that other snobby traditionalists are also furtively dealing with but are too stubborn to admit:
- You find yourself trying to adjust the settings on everything
Being the stubborn and pretentious bookworm that I am, I’ve been very open about my disdain for e-books. Okay, so I did try to purchase a Kindle once donkey years ago (“Oh my god, that was one time!”) but other than that fleeting moment of weakness, I’ve basically pledged my lifelong loyalty to books of all kinds. But bookworm or not, at the end of the day, this writer is still a tried-and-true, born and bred millennial. The other day I was flipping through a magazine when I saw a gorgeous handbag casually hanging from the arm of a model in an ad. Without blinking an eye, three of my fingers resumed a T-Rex claw-like position as I instinctively tried to zoom in on the handbag… on a magazine.
Other times, I’ll find myself reading a book in a dim room with my eyes straining hard to read the tiny font with every turning page. Every so often, a thought pops up in my mind, “I wonder what the brightness level is on this thing” and then I immediately shamefacedly chastise myself for being so dependent on this uncultured monstrosity that is technology.
- Sometimes, you read more for show than out of necessity
As a writer, I’m more than prone to writer’s block where the only thing my fingers and my mind are able to create is one big incohesive mess. Sometimes for me the only way to snap out of it is to take a breather from my laptop screen and to start viewing writing as a form of art. At this stage, anything to do with writing serves as potential inspiration; from watching a movie with a writer as the main character to just putting pen to paper while practicing my handwriting. Sometimes, the simplest thing I can do is to read a book while sitting in an upright position in a romantic location.
Now, we all know realistically speaking, most of our favourite reading positions involve less-than-glamorous horizontal positions in bed or on the couch with our legs unflatteringly contorted at the most comfortable angle of the moment. But somehow during moments of discouragement, just the act of reading a good, formidable book in a proper setting is enough to get the blood flowing in my fingers before I completely abandon my novel to start typing on my laptop again. Not only is this crazy pretentious, it makes me question my insincere intentions as a reader and writer. Do I really still enjoy reading books or am I actually just clinging on to the implications that it affords me as a person?
- You’re in denial but secretly aware that technology is way more convenient
You try your best to stick to your guns and you adamantly promise yourself that you will never ever lose your love for reading no matter what. But sometimes in the thick of things when caught in a tight situation, you can’t help but go for the most convenient option, which as luck would have it, is often a technology-driven device. For a realistic example, you’re rushing to go to the toilet, you look around for the nearest form of entertainment (let’s not even bother denying it!) and between your book or your phone, chances are you’re going to pick the latter. It takes less energy to scroll through your Instagram feed, it has its own lighting and the size of it allows for better mobility than say, a flat, bulky book.
Let’s face it, we’re a broken record teeming with nostalgia, frequently torn between our need for easy technology and an appreciation for old-school habits. What are the ways technology has affected your love for reading?