From Typewriter to Twitter and Back

June 20, 2012 § 5 Comments

I love this piece on East London’s fashion in the last 100 years. It’s so fun to hear the music and see the fashions of the last century fly by. It’s even more fun to see the styles that have stayed, returned, or never came back.

Lately I’ve felt a similar frenzied and nostalgic rush toward technology.

On one hand, I bought a new phone which prompted me to dive into the land of apps and Instagram. I even started a twitter account (another dangerous whim). Here’s my first tweet. (If you follow @abigaillzc, you can bet there will be offthefrontporch links.)

And my first instagram photo (follow @zimmeralc for more).

But as much as I’m diggin things like Voxer and AroundMe, I’m aware of how much past technology continues to influence our new habits. For example, our computer keyboards click because when they were first made with muted sound, the quiet office unnerved typists. So engineers made them click again. And the layout of the keys (the QWERTY pattern) was meant to slow down the typists so the machine could keep up with them – now our computers are more than capable, yet we continue to use the slower QWERTY layout.

So in the midst of playing around with my new toys, I also got a fresh ribbon for my typewriter, which I’ve been using to write Sylvia-Plath-style.

(Look what serious poets we both are. It’s all because of the typewriter.)

And I’m listening to classics like Otis Spain and Al Green on my record player.

Soon I will be using a lot more public transportation to get around, which – as these 100-year-old promotional infographics imply – is certainly not a new fad.

Readers, revel in the old and indulge in the new.

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