Does the start of school make you feel nostalgic?
No. 2 pencils, clean sheets of lined paper, textbooks so new they crack when you open them, textbooks so old they smell of dust and mystery. Ahh!
Decades from now, when today’s grade-schoolers look back, what will spark their nostalgia? The weight of a favorite stylus? A blank Word doc? The feel of a page-turning swipe on an ebook reader? Or will future generations have fewer occasions for nostalgia, simply because digital containers are less permanent, less tactile, less “historical” than paper and lead and glue? Pixels don’t smell. They don’t yellow with age. They aren’t stored on a bookshelf where you might unexpectedly stumble across them later. Can they invoke nostalgia?
And it seems like we are less likely to cling to the digital writing tools we use today. Keyboards are easily replaced. iPhones are continually upgraded. Ebooks will never contain hand-me-down margin notes and highlights and dog-ears from a previous reader.
What do you think? How do you feel?
What are future writers likely to be nostalgic about? What are you nostalgic about? What memories and feelings does a new school year evoke for you?
Post something in the comments so we can all get wistful with you!
- The Pen is Mightier than the Phone, by FastCompany