I have 55 books out from the library. This is surprisingly commonplace for my “book habit.” They’re a hefty collection of novels, non-fiction, and reference books. They cover much of the floor space of my room. I’ve been tripping over them a lot more as they’ve grown in number. A natural cause of death is tripping over a pile of books, isn’t it? In my world, it is.
However, I’m not overwhelmed by them. Books by the hundreds give me peace, but what does overwhelm me is the collection of web browser windows I have up. The internet is much more vast and less physically demanding of space than the “old school” spread of information like printed and bound pages. I’ve been pining over a tablet because I think it would be more comfortable for my internet surfing than curling up in a chair with my head jutting toward a screen; I’d like to move the screen as my head moves. My wrists wouldn’t hurt as much from mouse and keyboard work. I could use the internet in more than one room. I know, though, that my problems won’t be solved with a tablet; there will be just as much to surf, and it would create a stronger dependence on the internet.
I know I’m not alone. My brother is trying to ween himself off Reddit and Imgur. I don’t blame him or myself for getting caught up in the hullabaloo. We all know this technology is wonderful, but, for the time being, I’m glad I don’t have the money for a tablet.
One book I’ve been tripping over recently is Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, which I just finished reading last night. Although it was written about fifty years ago, the philosophy behind each story is a chilling reminder of the progression of society—perhaps more chilling, at times, than 1984. I read one particular section several times, reflecting on how it connects with our world today.
“Science ran too far ahead of us too quickly, and the people got lost in a mechanical wilderness, like children making over pretty things, gadgets, helicopters, rockets; emphasizing the wrong items, emphasizing machines instead of how to run the machines. Wars got bigger and bigger and finally killed Earth.
“…That way of life proved itself wrong and strangled itself with its own hands. You’re young. I’ll tell you this again every day until it sinks in.”
I’m aware of the hottest trends in technology. As a twenty-something, I should be deeply immersed in the ownership of certain products. I don’t believe technology will ruin society, but I have been healthily wary of it since reading Feed by M.T. Anderson.
This may only be a speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple started making rockets. As one who doesn’t line up at Apple stores, this is a hilarious look into the future. Observe The Oatmeal’s hilarious but true take on owning Apple products. Imagine ditching the 20-foot rocket in your garage for the newer, sleeker, but typically identital rocket that’s just been released and requires a day of waiting line just to touch.
I’ve decided to wait as long as I can before diving into the pool with the others. I love it, I want it, I could use it to my advantage, but for now I choose to keep my medias separate and come across them separately, clumped together in several windows on one computer or divided by subject in paper and glue. I’m happy with this until I can get a job to finance the ultra-sleek plaything. Even so, should I ever have a tablet I’ll be careful with the use of technology.
I have 55 books out from the library. Okay, 56, but Ray Bradbury will go back this weekend. There will come more books soon.