Friday, February 21, 2014

Facebook Is 10, Twitter Is 8, & A Smartphone User Is 69

I know that something dramatically new is about to hit the media marketplace now that my soon-to-be 70-year-old-mother-in-law just got an iPhone. She ditched her flip phone for the latest tech gadget. If she’s on board then something else is around the corner.

She doesn’t yet know her way around the world of having a computer in her hand, but she’ll get there. Technology is always spitting out new devices. There’s always a wave of people who will buy in first, second, third… and then those who will trail the latest invention by a few generations. But they eventually catch on. My father-in-law has not caught on and belligerently will not. But a piece of him seems curious -- just not enough to invest some time to learn.

As the elders oppose the pace of tech evolution, the youngest kids can’t wait to buy the next gadget. My six- and nine-year-old kids love to grab my iPhone or flip through screens on a tablet.

It is amazing to think you don’t need a certain gadget or technology and then suddenly you feel so dependent upon it. What awaits the book? Will it always involve reading words or will that whole experience somehow change? One day we will just download books into our cyberbrains and the information will be stored in our half-human, half-robot form. You know that’s next, don’t you?

We are like unevolved monkeys from a pre-Darwinian world. Technology will radically alter our bodies and minds -- and this will impact how and what we write and read. My mother-in-law’s iPhone purchase, in the scheme of things, was her going to yell out a window and being heard by a passing dog.

Who knows how long Facebook or Twitter will be around for -- or books and bookstores. What will happen in the future is the human being will be altered, not by what we put in its hand, but in its body. The future can be so great -- but only if it comes without devaluing what it means to be human.

Think about that as you write your book. Will your book be read by a future generation or a reader that is practically a computer? Will the old world, where computers and people were separate from each other, be the glorious time of society, or will it be seen as the Stone Ages?

Time will tell.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.

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