Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Digital Delights

Technology is amazing.  Just think of all the things we can do today, that just even a mere ten years ago we couldn’t do.   Digital music players, cell phones with internet capability and e-mail capability, GPS devices built into cars, electronic book readers.  The list can go on and on.  It amazes me on a daily basis how dependent we have become on technology and what seemed like a luxury yesteryear has become a necessity today.
This past week, I’ve had my own issues with my digital world.  After working on an essay, the one I was hoping to submit at some point, I was getting ready to have a friend read it.  I plugged my 4 GB thumb drive into my computer where I clicked on the file name to open the document.  Nothing.  I ejected it and put it in my laptop.  Nothing.  Hmm.  Turns out the file had somehow become corrupted and it was gone.  My throat began to tighten up with frustration, but luckily, other files on the drive were fine.  I moved all the files to my laptop and formatted the thumb drive to avoid the issues in the future.  It makes me miss those days where I had to write any and all work out by hand before my English teacher would let us go to the computer lab to work on the word processors.  You see, it wasn’t normal to turn in something actually typed back then.  I practiced my script and actually felt confident with it, until my world became a digital mess and I typed everything from notes, memos, letters, and blog posts.  Perhaps if I went back to that old way of thinking, I wouldn’t have lost the essay.  And it was amazing, let me tell you.  (I can say that because it’s gone….)
That same day, my 24 inch flat screen monitor at work decided that it would like to display all sorts of delightful colors other than those that would make my work visible.  Flashes of white, black, and a rainbow of blue, green, and red flashed across the screen before ending with the blank screen of death.  Luckily it is under warranty, so I can get a new one, but it makes my job very difficult to do without the added benefit of a second screen for the fifteen to twenty windows I have to have opened to run the Records Office.  Just a couple of years ago, a second screen would never have been heard of, now it is causing me a lot of extra time and exasperation to get work done without it.
Today, my laptop is sitting on my desk at work, next to my desktop.  I’m not using the laptop for work, just music.  It makes me wonder what I did before the days when I could carry my entire music collection around on a device the size of box of matches.  I seem to recall carrying around a couple of cassette tapes in my backpack along with my walkman.  Two or three were all that I could listen to, and space was an issue. Amongst the books and binders, taking my entire music collection would have been impossible.  Today, my iPod fits in my pocket and has enough space for days of music without ever repeating.  Really, what am I going to do with all that sound?  Enjoy it, and be thankful for the ease that technology gives me. 
What could be next up for me?  An e-book reader, though I’m not sure which one.  The thought of carrying hundreds of books with me at a time makes me giddy at the thought.  While I love the tactile feelings of a printed book, I have times when carrying a large number of books isn’t all that practical.  With a small device, I can have at least one hundred books with me whenever I feel the need to read.  It’s just a matter of time though.  It will become as necessary as everything else.  It is a luxury now, but just wait.
What type of electronic device can’t you live without?
Thanks Google for the image!

6 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

C. K. Bryant said...

Oooh, I love this post. I love the digital world, although your mishap with the thumb drive gives me hives. I need to back mine up again. The thought of losing me entire book to one little glitch is terrifying.

I also want all the new gadgets. I have a generic MP3 player that I hate, so an Ipod is number one on my list. I've also been eying the Kindle and Nook, still not sure which one I like the best, but I've got to have one. I have a great laptop, 19 inch screen with all the bells and whistles, but what I really want is a mini laptop so I can carry it all over the place easily and take it to conferences and . . . well, just about everywhere. Someday, maybe.

Great post, Teri!

Tonee + Brennan said...

Hmmm, I don't have a laptop, cell phone, ipod, etc. etc. So I would say I can live without most of them. But I can't live without the internet. I did try it once for three days, it's doable, but definitely not fun!!! I do dream of having a mp3 player (sorry no ipods in this house). My hubby has 2!!! He says he needs one for his books on cd and then one for his music, so he doesn't have one to spare as a hand me down to poor little me, how rude!?!?!? :) :)

2busy said...

I don't know if I would love the book reader. I love the feel and smell of a book. The experience might not be quite the same. Technology wise, I can't live without my laptop. It is my window to the world.

Sorry about your essay. You've got no back up anywhere? No hard copy or anything? That just truly SUCKS!

L.T. Elliot said...

I can't live without my compy. I won't lie. I love it. Fiercely.

I've never used a double screen before. Was it hard to get used to? I hope your replacement one comes soon!

Terresa said...

Sorry about that lost essay! What horror!

My fave electronic device is my home computer, followed by my lap top. Love 'em both.

PS: Are you getting an I-pad? I'd like to but we're waiting for 2nd or 3rd generation to come out.

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