Today, I’m simply grateful for how much easier the little things in life are now because of technology. So here a few things I don’t miss:
- Writing out a check for every purchase and household bill and keeping up with the damn little check register, subtracting as I went along. Love online banking and bill paying. They do the math!
- Running to check the answering machine the minute I got home to see what calls I missed (and often swearing as a result). Love cell phones!
- Muting commercials and waiting endlessly for them to be over. Love digital recorders! (TiVo especially.) Recording programs and skipping through the crap is the only way I can watch TV.
- Walking around Blockbuster reading the back of DVD cases, trying to find a decent movie. (And don’t get me started on the damn late fees!) Love Netflix! And its new “Watch Instantly” feature.
- Sending every single agent/editor query by mail and waiting months for responses. Love e-mail queries! Rejection is easier when it’s faster—like ripping off a band-aid.
- Sending files to Adobe’s free converter program and waiting days to get the PDF back. Love making my own PDFs from Word and InDesign.
What have I forgotten? What don’t you miss?
I don’t miss being stuck on the SoCal freeways and wondering if I should take the time to pull over and find a phone to call and say I’m going to be late. Yay, cell phones!
I also don’t miss tying up our phone line while we dialed up the Internet.
Oh – I forgot – and resetting the alarm clock when the power goes out. Ours automatically syncs itself to some official time station in Colorado.
Oh, let’s go back a little further…
I don’t miss retyping pages because I made a mistake or being reminded that I need to clean out my e keys, and I don’t miss white-out. Yay for word processors.
How about this?
I don’t miss having a couple of words of a song stuck in my head, and asking all my friends “Hey, do you know what that song is called, the one that goes ‘na na na na na’ or something?” Now I can just search for the lyrics. Works every time!
“Love online banking and bill paying. They do the math!”
But you still need to balance it yourself anyway, otherwise you’re just taking someone else’s word for how much money you have! (I guess if there’s not that much in there it’s easy to tell if there’s been a mistake, but boy O boy, if you’ve got a lot in there, whatever you do–don’t take their word for it–the banking industry wants your complacency!)
For me it’s not so much what I don’t miss, but what I couldn’t now live without. Charlotte and I have been writing the next Eva Baum detective novel. I simply don’t know how we could function without Wikipedia and the rest of the Internet. In a single session we were able to research the symptoms of smoke inhalation, an overview of industrial espionage, the correct Chinese phrase for a cheap prostitute, the exact specifications for a People’s Liberation Army pistol with armor piercing ammo, the history of and aerial photographs of a Coushatta Indian reservation near Livingston, Texas, Tom Delay’s corruption scandal, and the complete text of a children’s story that has the same name as our novel which I was able to work in as a nifty dream sequence that helped me handle a sub-plot. Without that near instantaneous Internet research it would take Charlotte and I weeks or months to do comparable research in a library.
Yes, Mark, but this kind of research is available to everyone now, so although it doesn’t take as long to do as it once may have, it also means that more writers are producing more well-researched books in less time. You might even say that you’re now expected to not take much time researching.
Another side of the coin is that you can assume many readers will now Google any prominent “facts” in a book, and will call you out on inaccuracies.
Hello fellow writer! How are you doing? Hope all is well.