By Deborah Wright Yoho
As a writer, I feel buffeted by the pressures of globalization. Ever since I read Thomas Friedman’s iconic books on the subject, daily I feel like I am leaning into the wind, weathering the storms of merciless change. Deadlines. Competitions. Places to go and things to do if I ever hope to be published. Yet writing for me requires a slow pace and a measure of peace and quiet. I’d like to think of my writing as a refuge, at least a pause that refreshes. But more and more the mechanics of modern life reduce my writing time to a few moments, like taking a vitamin pill with the hope I’ll have more energy later.
My new intellectual hobby is keeping up with the effects of globalization. I am enslaved to perpetual confusion, dealing with the unrelenting learning curve required to operate my demon computer. I call it the Machine, and I refuse to talk to it.To do so would confirm the presence of another life form struggling to communicate with me in an alien language. While I know it is useless to ignore its demands, I maintain the delusion that the human mind by default should function as master over all machines. Entities with an assertive consciousness require respect I refuse to offer.
The joy of maintaining a connection to friends and family has become a chore. Nobody is ever home, cell phones are unreliable, email addresses constantly change, and who has the time for snail mail? Facebook just won’t cut it. I must plan for a three-day delay trying to reach anybody at all. Not that I am any different. People get mad at me if I don’t return their message in less than 24 hours. Half the time I want the world to just go away and the rest of the time I’m chasing after it.
My private life as a reader has been invaded. Should I buy a Kindle? Must I? Probably. The cost to feed a two-books-a-week habit is bounding away from me. I can’t indulge my preference for ink on paper much longer unless I want to spend more time with the Machine managing a waiting list at the library.
I suspect those who cherish the deliberative writing process, considering, drafting, editing, and then doing it all over again before releasing their thoughts to others, could someday become an extinct species.