Last weekend I had an interesting chat with my uncle on the impact of medium on the creative process. Coming from an older generation, he said that he can’t create on computer – he can only edit. The actual creating has to take place on paper. I am in the lucky generation where computers became ubiquitous early enough that they are natural, but late enough that so’s paper. I found it quite interesting that the medium impacts his thought processes to an extent that some of them don’t function, because for me the creative process on paper and computer is exactly the same (although computer is neater, since you can’t see the places where I’ve scribbled).
Taking that progression to the next generation, will those for whom computers have always been around find paper impossible to create on? Nearly everyone’s heard a story about the baby of a friend of a friend who was seen trying to zoom on a TV, or even the wallpaper, as if it were a smartphone. Learned behaviour and environment kicks in earlier than we think.
Maybe it’s just a fear of change, but I’d be sad to think that writing on paper is dying out. I can’t really justify that – it’s simply that I enjoy it for its own sake. Similarly, my issue with Kindles and their kind. I travel a lot with work, so it would make sense for me to have one – simultaneously cutting down on baggage weight whilst letting me take tons more reading material. Yet, despite the utility, I remain obstinately against them. I like the feel of a paper book, and dread the day when they stop being printed. Ebooks are cheaper, more environment friendly, more portable, etc etc – I acknowledge the long list of reasons why they might be considered superior – but they aren’t beautiful. Despite just about being a child of the technological age, and wholly at ease with writing electronically, I remain addicted to reading paper.