I did not get an iPad, iPhone or any of those other i-cons for Christmas. And just in case you don't get it: I'm bragging here, not complaining.
Oh, I watched all the TV commercials and read the declarations of tech gurus, but I was not tempted. You see, I despise touch screens and icons. I want buttons and words.
First, the screens. Am I the only person out there who recoils from a smeary surface covered with oily fingerprints? Even if the oils are my own, isn't there something ewww about it all? Sure, buttons collect the same grime, but at least you don't then have to read through the smear.
Then there's that scrolling stuff. If you don't get the touch just right, you end up inadvertently calling someone to whom you don't wish to speak, juse because your finger stayed in one spot a nanosecond too long. At least, that's what happens to me when I try to use my husband's phone. I suppose I could practice to get it right, but really - should I have to practice merely to use a phone?
And don't get me started on icons, which I see as proof that people are devolving. How else to explain the move from literacy to illiteracy? What are those little pictures anyway, and why don't they have any relationship at all to reality? Pictoral highway signs are clear: A silhouette of a deer means the animal might be on the road, and an arrow that curves means the road will curve. But a puzzle piece for "tools" while a wrench and gear mean "settings"? And what's that thing that looks like a snowflake with a check mark on it?
I realize that I can get words to describe an icon by clicking it or hovering over it ... so then what's the point of the icon at all? I suppose it's like someone translating in your ear while you learn a new language....
Yes. Those of you who are on my ranting wavelength know the next question. Why do I need another language to operate a phone or use the Internet to look up a word in English?
Back when I did a lot of my work in newsrooms, I understood that the graphic designers preferred Macs over PCs - perfectly understandable for graphics people to choose the machines that make graphics easier. And I thought it was terribly unfair when the artists were forced to use a new system that made doing their work more difficult.
But that was a long time ago, and the world has shifted. It appears that all our devices are migrating toward the nonverbal. Those of us who think in words instead of pictures are being left behind to sink into the primordial ooze.
I am drafting this blog with my favorite pen into a notebook my husband bought me at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art's Chihuly exhibit. I adored Dale Chihuly's works and was spiritually uplifted by the exquisite glass art, humble sand transformed into a visual treat.
So yes, I do appreciate the visual as art, but it is not my everyday language. And while I don't expect too ever be as wonderful with words as Chihuly is with glass, I'd like to try. So I would like a little more variety among the tools of the trade. Not just apples that I can't eat.
(Not sent from my iPhone.)