I was sitting in Sunday School the other day, and the teacher called out a bunch of verses, asking us to look them up and someone read them. So most of us (older people) are flipping thtough our Bibles, looking for this Psalm and that Galatians and whatever, and there’s the one lone college student who appears to be messing with his cellphone. I was thinking “Dude, not the time or place, y’know” then he up and says “I’ve got the Psalms one” and starts reading…off his phone. Wot? How are you supposed to show off your verse-hunting prowess by being the first one to flip to a verse because you know *exactly* where in the Bible that book is located? Part of me thinks having the Bible app on your iPhone is cheating. Part of me thinks it’s kind of awesome because you don’t have to carry around this big thick book anymore. Part of me wonders what’s going to happen in 25 years on the streetcorner at Walmart…is the dude in the black pants and white shirt going to yell and wave his iPhone at you? Somehow it won’t be quite the same as now, when he has a King James Bible the size of an encyclopedia
Not long ago someone asked if I had or wanted a Kindle- you know, those electronic book things. I think it’s a cool piece of technology, and if you travel alot and don’t want to schlep a 12 pound copy of Stephen King’s latest, sure. but there is something satisfying abour holding a heavy book, turning the pages, finding that stain from the jelly toast you were eating the last time you read it (or if it’s a library book wonder what that stain might be).
What will libraries be like, if electronic readers take over and books go the way of VHS cassettes? You wouldn’t even have to go…you’d just download it. I would hate that. I enjoy chatting with the librarian, or being nosy and judgemental about the Jackie Collins trash the person ahead of me is checking out. We have already lost the experience of going to the Video rental store, slapping our hands over the children’s eyes as we have to go through the adult section to get to the children’s videos in the back (who’s bright idea was that anyway, to put the kids stuff in the back and the “Bimbo Babes of Berkely U” in the front?) It’s a whole part (wot? who’s your editor, Rootie?) of the Human Experience being removed.
I suppose it will somehow be made up for in other ways. I heard a thing on the radio a while back about Car Clubs in China. Apparently people there are so wrapped up in their work and such, and everyone rides a bike and doesn’t get OUT that now there are Car Clubs where a group of you rent several cars and go driving in the countryside.
Perhaps the modern Coffee Shop is filling the void created by Technology. I like the Coffee Shop thing, squishy couches and bottomless cups of hot brew.
I suppose I could sound like my mother and bang on about how the world is going to hell and soon, what with all this stuff…but I think we are more adaptable than that. People will always find a way to socialize, somehow. And it really is easier to have a little phone smaller than a deck of cards that carries the entire Bible in it, plus all your songs and phone numbers and restaurant coupons. How cool is it that you can put an entire bookcase’s worth of lofty tomes on a thing the size of a small notebook that fits in your purse? Will was telling me about this thing that is (sorta) like a Kindle- a flat screen with a memory chip (the kind in my camera) and you can write on it, take notes in class, and they’re all saved on the memory chip, so you don’t have to carry around notebooks full of paper for each class, and I reckon if you have your textbooks as an app on your iPhone, then holy cow, you don’t need a 40 pound backpack, you can stick everything you need in your pocket.
Now if they could just make a Subway turkey on wheat app.