i remember when fax machines were cool. i remember the shiny fax paper, where the whole fax came in one piece, and would eventually fade, like some kind of magic secret message. i remember sending faxes which were just letters on white A4 paper, written to be faxed to friends who had parents who also had fax machines. bloody amazing, technology, eh?
for me, it's always been about communicating, and i guess that's why i'm still not really reminiscing about how it was better in the good old days. sure, fax machines trump letters. emails trump faxes. msn messenger trumps phonecalls. text messages trump phonecalls, skype trumps phonecalls (i don't like the phone, so for me a lot of things trump phonecalls) and Facebook rules the world.
if the way to communicate and to express yourself gets easier with each technological advance, i am all for it. i have my moments with new technology. i do understand the panic one sometimes sees in the eyes of a generation of parents who are learning to navigate a smart phone (i felt the exact same way, except i was also embarrassed to be panicking); you have this feeling like you're going to accidentally do something undoable that will have disastrous consequences. most often, it's a non-issue, but touchscreens can definitely inspire panic.
i do wonder sometimes how my adult life would be without the level of technology we're currently sitting at. i would have been a lot more lost a lot more of the time (thanks, googlemaps) and i would probably have bought less vintage clothing (thanks, etsy app). would i still be in such good contact with my lovely friends of Elsewhere if there were no Facebook? i'm certain i would have been writing letters instead, but the immediacy of being about to share their everyday lives is a bit of a luxury. it's a luxury i wouldn't sacrifice, really.
it does feel like a strange world we live in, where our devices are obsolete from the second we pick them up, but they still work just fine, for the required 2 years before they're so out of date nothing will work on them anymore. my iPhone 4s is basically an antique now, but i've only owned it a year. it is easy to see why people get cynical about the rapid transformations surrounding technology, but i honestly can happily join millions of others who like it, who eschew the cynicism of those who are stubbornly sticking to their fax machines.
fax machines are in the nowhereland. they're not vintage. they're not a hipster item. they're like the clothing of the 2000s (i recently found out that 90s clothing is now vintage, yikes). no place, really - although what the heck is the clothing of the naughties anyways? someone let me know- not by fax though, i've had to give it up.