I’m totally in love with tech and gadgetry. My house is full of the stuff we have accumulated over the years. I even have a gadget wishlist.
Technology has changed the way we communicate with one another, and it’s not really until you think about the past that you realise that this is the case.
My NaNoWriMo novel is set in the past. We’re into the early 00’s not, but the Internet is still a baby, modems still made those funny noises and going online meant that no one else could make a phone call.
I remember cleaning dialers from Windows 98 computers and learning about the follies of going online with a Windows ME machine without anti-virus installed.
It was a time when mobile phones existed, but they were just that – phones. No cameras, no Facebook, no 3G. Just the good old Nokia 3210 , its bigger brother the Nokia 7110 and its successor and cult handset the Nokia 3310. (I may have loved these phones a little bit too much.) These were the days when snake was the only game you could play on your handset and if you got your mobile phone next to anything electrical while you were making a call or about to receive a text, you would know about it.
Julianne has a mobile phone but she rarely carries it with her. She never has any credit on it and spends what little credit she does put on it to text her friends very occasionally. Phoneboxes are still useful and she still uses the landline at home for contacting her friends.
Our reality now is that the handset sat on my desk next to me as I write this is more powerful than the first server I set up. It links me to the world 247 and it allows me to do this wirelessly pretty much anywhere I go. This has changed communication immeasurably. I’ve found recently that the characters in my modern novels use chat (mostly Facebook – lots of nefarious things seem to happen over Facebook chat) to communicate which has posed another problem for writers. How do you represent chat sessions? How can you convey the short delay between a message being received and the thinking time of a reply? This was always there if you had to put text conversations in your work, but now the problem is more pervasive since the Internet is a valid way of meeting people, bonding, forming communities and keeping in touch.
It’s also changing the face of publishing and marketing for books as well, with novels now able to contain links to websites and services referenced in the book.
Everything is at our fingertips and it’s affecting the way we write, what we write, and who we’re writing for.
And it’s all extremely exciting.
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