Digital Age Journal: A tale of two bloggers-A A +A
By Art Tibaldo
Monday, January 28, 2013
THE typewriter of yesteryear has become thinner, smaller, lighter and without knobs. It is without ribbon and it does not require both hands.
With a light touch of its screen, it can send auto-corrected messages across the globe and the receiver can print the sent texts in various fonts like Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman. The end receiver can likewise convert the message in any foreign language using an internet based portal. Yes, one can write in English and send it as French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Greek, Norwegian, Chinese, Japanese and even Korean using an online language translator.
I’m quite certain that today’s younger generation has not seen a telex machine like the ones used by PT&T and RCPI. They probably haven’t received a postman delivered telegram. Some may relate to the movie “You’ve Got Mail” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan about two e-mailing lovers who are using online usernames. The characters of the movie are completely unaware that their web lover is, in fact, the same person with whom they share a degree of animosity.
What many of the youngsters are sending today is called an Instagram which is an online photo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take a picture, apply a digital filter to it, and share it on a variety of social networking services. Wikipedia reveals that as of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users with more than half of them using Facebook on a mobile device.
Google accordingly has spent over a decade laboriously perfecting its mapping product. I use both Google and Wikimapia for location maps and whenever I search for a particular place as opposed to going over the pages of my World Atlas which is now gathering dust.
If I were to look at it, it seemed that the typewriter, the telephone, the television and the computer were integrated into one unit by its creators, downsized it and reinvented as smartphones. Today, these gadgets are the fastest growing consumer electronic items in the world with Google and Apple are the most formidable players in the field.
A former college classmate who is now living in Texas, USA has been regularly updating her social network site as part of her daily ritual. When she learned of my presence in the Facebook circle, she asked me to be a friend and considered me a mentor in writing. Having finished Fine Arts as our undergraduate studies, we believe in artistic freedom in the same way as that of writing as a form of self expression. She claimed that when she writes, it has a heart and a soul and there is no reason for me not to believe her.
Mimi wrote “I am not ashamed of being bold and straight to the point. I am not hurting no one. I'm just telling the truth itself that lies ahead along the journey of life abroad. I too, had bad experiences which I learned a lot and accepted the fact….just sharing.” Mimi probably received unfriendly remarks from her conservative FB-circle-of-friends who are opposed to some of her views and personal convictions. Being a Bulakenya or from the land of the heroes and braves, she did not let go of the criticisms and she rebutted “If you can't deal with this unfriend me. Would just like to save you from embarrassment and would perfectly understand the people behind the wall on a foreign land. I’m alone in the garden with my paper and pen”.
Seemingly inspired at one time, she wrote a poem entitled “My Beloved” and it goes;
Tried to get away from the trap of the den
Letting myself off the hook and believe again
For what I know.. for what I want.. for what I gain
Doesn’t matter what comes to my brain
Touch the flowers.. the leaves.. touch the bark of the trees
Lay down on the soil.. can feel the breeze...
Aha!.. saw a river bend.. sounds it blends
I guess my soul is engage ..my spirit is indulge
I have captured the beauty of nature
My heart longs to what it shows..
My heart is flattered..
I found my beloved!..
(written by Mimi Pestano)
Between every line of Mimi’s anecdotal poem is full of meaning that only she can best relate. I haven’t found the right poetic words to reply and so I responded; We are living in a world of constant communication, a wink, a pout, a nod or just a smile means a lot. Anything written must have been processed by the heart and mind before it is punched in keyboards and sent as messages. I write when I'm mad. I write when I am inspired no matter how wrong the grammar is. I review it after a awhile or at least overnight. I correct, I delete, I add but I do not get affected by what people say of it.
My classmate replied “I will remember that…"never be affected" by what people say, besides I know what I’m doing…it all came from the heart …and when I write it has a SOUL.”
I concluded the exchange of ideas…you are right Mimi…you don't have to write a graffiti on a wall to make a statement and put a message across. You don't have to punch period in the keyboard or rest your pen to make it appear that you are fine and contented. More importantly, you don't have to scribble friendly notes and send certificates of appreciation just to please people with a feeble mind. I think you do not owe anyone an explanation. Lastly, I advised her with a quote I first heard from Peppot Ilagan…we communicate to express and not to impress. I really can’t imagine living in a world without communication.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 29, 2013.