Typewriter

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Nothing about “computer” says creativity. Although the things that apps can do are startling and digital media is now considered an art form, that word screams binary code. 1970. mainframe. Your father’s brown ford LTD.

But consider the word “typewriter.” It’s so old fashioned it’s cool. And it has the word ‘writer’ in it which warms my soul. I remember when I first flipped over to ‘keyboarding’ from ‘typing’ in the, let’s say, last century. At first it was okay. Easier on the fingers, yes. Of course the best function was ‘delete’ instead of reaching for the bottle of white out or replacing the correcto-ribbon. And then there was memory and storing everything on those cool floppy disks. They were actually kind of stiff, not sure why ‘floppy’ was used. In any case, I never turned back.

Then last week I saw a program on the news that said typewriters are making somewhat of a comeback. Similar to the turntable comeback I guess. Too much distraction with technology, too much digital noise standing in the way of a singular act of putting one needle on one vinyl and simply listening. The story talked about the beauty of the old machines, their engineering, their comfort, their utilitarianism. But what really struck me was their simplicity.

You typed. You wrote. Type writer.

When I write on my computer, I inevitably need to fact check something on Wikipedia, which inevitably leads to my going to a link for more information which makes me think of something else which leads to my Gmail which of course reminds me I needed to post that thing which brings me back to checking baseball scores and…you get the idea.

Type. Write. Schools are actually starting to bring these focus machines back. You sit. You think. You type. I found it actually less intimidating than having the cursor blink at me or a blue screen. Now of course, the biggest hurdle is that it is very uncool at Starbucks. I haven’t tried that yet but you never know, if I did it might get an agent to come over and ask to publish my story. It’s about a man who returns from the Peace Corps and loses his way. But that’s another story.

I love it when technology comes full circle and reminds us of how it got started and why we started using it in the first place. There will probably be an app soon that will only allow you to ‘type’ and will make the accompanying sound with each stroke of the key.

In the meantime, there’s a lot to be said for such elegant simplicity.

Type. Write.

Have a fulfilling end of the year and embrace your craft. You are making the world a better place.

About Stephen Dexter, Jr.

Stephen is an international educator and administrator. A native of the United States, he lives with his wife Stephanie (a specialist in families in global transition) in Croatia along with his daughter and son. With a career that spans over twenty years in public, private and international schools, he writes when he can and is on a quest to discover if "text walking" is changing the human brain.
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