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Sunday, November 2, 2008

A quiet Sunday afternoon...

I have a love/hate relationship with the digital age.

I LOVE having facts at my fingertips anytime day or night! I love being on the phone with a friend who asks me if I know the address to which funny newspaper clippings should be mailed for the Tonight Show, and without skipping a beat, without having to end the conversation, without them even knowing I am looking it up on the web, finding the correct answer.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE digital photography. When I got my first digital camera years ago, I took it as a gift whose invention was meant specifically for me and people like me. I knew everybody would like it, but I knew that there were people like me out there for whom it was just MEANT. I hate blatant 'PhotoShop'ing meant to fool gullible e-mail forward recipients.

I love cell phones when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere (or when you are unconscious and strangers call your family to your side). I hate them in restaurants, funerals, and public restrooms!!!

I like e-mail (since I tend to keep in touch somewhat more regularly with my friends and family that have it), but I miss receiving casual notes in my post office box. I love the backspace button as I'm composing my outgoing messages instead of having to messily scratch out handwritten words, but I miss reading how someone is feeling by the varying quality of their penmanship.

I love the vast, immeasurable quantities of shared thought from distant strangers that bob across time and space like messages in bottles on the ocean current waiting to be found by a strolling beachcomber. But I miss the romance of the physical world.

I love being able to go to my local library's website and put a new book on hold...or even renew my books...GLORY BE!!! But nothing can match walking through the whoosh of the library door into the cool, quiet, magical, story-filled space. I love the way it smells. I love the Dewey Decimal System always leading the way.

I've been trying to take a little less time on the computer and make a little more time to read real paper-and-ink books these days...to not put all my news in my e-mails and drop a handwritten note in a real blue metal mail box now and then...and next time I go to the beach, I'm going to toss a real glass bottle full of hopeful tidings into the surf.

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