We were talking about Kindles last night. About the feasibility of using them in schools rather than giving kids texts. I liked the idea. Books are beautiful but there’s something fun in the act of downloading, and features like the highlighted passage function are as fascinating as the handwritten scribbles used to be – plus you can add yours over the top.
The glitch, of course, is that the books aren’t really yours in the same way that the physical ones are.
When I woke up this morning, I saw that a friend I’d made over the internet had posted that, 15 minutes in, he was already bored of Facebook. I don’t know the context of the comment but my initial response was one of panic.
We make connections on Twitter and Facebook that, when they’re dependent on the medium surviving, are relatively easily lost.
I have been thinking about the temporariness of the web for a while now. Working in digital, it is easier to spot the patterns in people coming and going. Realising that people can lose their library on Amazon’s whim – and that I am tired of my iPhone but my music is hopelessly tied into Apple’s iTunes, have made me increasingly conscious of the compromise that we’re sometimes making.
The fact that the web has made the world so much smaller and that things like music and books are available at the click of a finger is one of the most transformative and wonderful things of my lifetime, and yet it sometimes makes me very scared –
The antidote, I have found, for the relationships, is to bring them offline. I’m not sure, yet, what the solution for the media is. The discussion is going on, apparently, but for the moment, I’m uncomfortably aware that my iTunes and Kindle libraries don’t really belong to me. That we’re building things for the future that could be lost on the whim – or fall – of a company. That the opportunities which blew me away might have have had flaws which I didn’t immediately see.