Barbaric may be a harsh word. It means cruel, savage, primitive and unsophisticated. I am sure that most of you will probably take action and search for the definition on Google. I don’t blame you. While I expect many terse comments from all those who read this post, allow me first to explain why I chose this term. It is by no means a reflection of what I think of you. In fact, many of you are confident and poised individuals who do not care about the ramblings of a writer who suffers from a mild case of gobbledygook.
What I really mean
The word barbaric can also indicate chronology as in time. Technology, the knowledge applied to a given field of study, is often labeled by an accepted measure of continuity. This length of action or timetable is determined by two factors: current advancements and how much of a dreamer you are. Jetpacks and flying cars look exciting on paper, but can these sorts of machines one day become a reality? Ah, yes, the definitive question. Eggheads, academics and the pundits from Silicon Valley would be the first to differ.
I, like all of you, am curious about the next high tech gimmick. Years ago, we couldn’t even imagine the fruition of flat or touch screens, 3D cinema or CGI and now, our brains are overloaded with visual dribble. There is much to be said about what passes for great cinematic achievement when every film is shot in 3D. A 55-inch flat screen is insufficient. Every child must learn how to text before they learn how to write and your car must park itself. This post may be the ramblings of an ill-mannered stringer, but he will gladly convince you that we are all barbarians living in a digital society.
Make up your mind already
If we measure how far we have come by my undisclosed and unsystematic method, then we are by no means barbaric. The fact that you are reading this post on your computer, tablet or smartphone supports my outlandish notion. The gadgetry we use today has made it easier for us to communicate with our family and friends in ways that are more convenient and quick. Long since the invention of the telephone, the Internet has made this even more apparent.
Where does stationery fit in all this?
Well, we still value the emotional and fundamental significance of a handwritten response. The human psyche is just that uncomplicated. With the transition of print media currently taking its toll, which one can argue is a clear sign that more people are escaping to a digital format, our need to stay connected to the world remains the same. As a result, we have become more critical about how we communicate with each other. Is the pen mightier than the sword? Are we barbarians because we like to take arms by writing things down or heaven forbid read a sentence in black ink? The answer is quite apparent – yes! But is that such a bad thing? In the midst of what technology has become, a fleeting contraption after another, stationery prevails.
One image comes to mind
Last year, Hurricane Sandy left 9 million people without electricity leaving those with smartphones, tablets and laptops without a working socket to plug into. The media went frantic reporting hundreds of people roaming the streets trying to find a place to power up their beloved gadgets. Gasoline stations and hotels offered their limited resources, but only a few reaped the benefits. Many others were left communicating with loved ones by writing letters, notes and messages on pieces of discarded paper, brown paper bags, wrapping paper and stationery.