The Tech Effect

Notification bar from my HTC One M8
Notification bar from my HTC One M8

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.

Linking up to the Wonderful World of Writing at Virtually All Sorts

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6 thoughts on “The Tech Effect

  1. I remember sitting next to a friend at university (must have been about 1998) and she was jabbing away at her phone and then obviously getting something back from it and laughing and I was thinking ‘What are you doing?!!!” I had NO CLUE she was texting. It was off my radar. Seems so weird to think that now as it doesn’t even feel that long ago. My first year of uni (’97) was ‘year of the pager’. I remember missing my boyfriend and having to ring a number and repeat some stupid romantic message to a real, live, slightly-sniggering bloke at the other end of the phone just so I could send him a single line page. Ah how times have moved on!

    1. I totally forgot about the pager. I had one of those I used to clip to my belt (because I definitely was not a nerd) although that was in school. In the early 00’s I remember downloading an single track from an album took hours. Set up your laptop, leave it overnight and you might have like four tracks by morning haha.

  2. Really enjoyed this Chrissie. It’s funny because I’ve been pondering these thoughts myself of late. How much simpler life used to be without being constantly plugged in.

    The way that publishing is evolving makes it accessible for all, and for that I’m grateful. You’re bang on the money when you said it’s an exciting time 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear more about the novel my dear xx

    1. Yes. I keep thinking I should step away from the smartphone (then I panic. I think I’m addicted!) It seems odd now to not have that always on thing going on, but we lived that way for years.
      Publishing is still changing and I think it’s headed in a great direction. X

  3. I absolutely agree Chrissie. It’s crazy where we’ve come to and extremely exciting too! My #www this week is along the same lines, I suppose. It’s all about the ‘pull’ of the Internet. I remember the modem noises (my parrot used to sound like a modem too!) and Nokia has always been my phone of choice (I recently had to deflect but that’s another story…). Hubby and I often talk about how our little one will be communicating with her friends in the future – and we can’t decide. It’s unimaginable really! Thanks for linking up such a thought-provoking post to link up with #WonderfulWorldofWriting 🙂

    1. You had a parrot? Awesome! Yes, the Internet does suck you in. We can also choose how much of ourselves we expose to other people which can lead to all sorts of feelings of inadequacy and failure. Using the Internet has complex psychological ramifications and I wonder if we’re biologically ready for them.
      Anyway, ramble ramble. Thank you for hosting another #www. It’s always inspirational. X

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