I absentmindedly opened a strange email today and downloaded a virus that threatened to scramble all my manuscripts, delete five years of digital pictures that I never learned how to print, and somehow jack all my credit card numbers, “secure” passwords, and other important numbers or letters I’ve typed into my computer. The wicked bug was probably about to assault me with a fever, hacking cough, and flesh-eating sores as well. Jeez! Who in the world spends his free time making these bugs, anyway? Get a hobby, dude.
Although I was supposed to spend the day brainstorming and writing with Jay, I ended up quarantined in my living room, bathing my computer in expensive anti-viral medicines and performing exorcisms and Obi Shaman rituals to cast the virus out. It was an incredibly frustrating day punctuated by F-word filled rants (to myself) and vows to write my next novel on my old Smith-Corona manual typewriter.
I absolutely hate technology. I’d rather chat with friends in a coffee shop than text them silly messages. And I’d rather read a real book made of paper than glue my eyes to the computer screen or listen to the audio version (except for Jay’s book, of course!). I don’t even enjoy talking on the cell phone. And how am I supposed to push those teeny-tiny buttons with my pudgy fingers? Of course, I realize that without technology you wouldn’t be reading this ranting blog post, and I wouldn’t have the pleasure of reading Jay and Robin’s morning emails that always crack me up and remind me why I write in the first place.
Technology is a big paradox. For every positive it provides, there is always an evil. Medical technology, for instance, is advancing so quickly that it’s producing a lot of unforeseen consequences and unintended harm. And sometimes treatments end up causing worse problems than the disease itself. It’s pretty fitting that my YA work-in-progress has evolved from a simple love story into an examination of the benefits and pitfalls of technological advances. And because my main character is a victim of technology gone wrong, she chooses to live a tech-free existence. Of course, since I’m really hating technology today, but can’t seem to live without it, I’ll be living life vicariously through her. As much as I complain about the tech-y world, I’d still have a hard time living without Guitar Hero and American Idol in High-Def on the plasma big screen.