There are many debates about whether technology has been helpful for the benefit of literary causes, communities, concerns or not. And these debates will keep continuing because people seldom think alike when it comes to taking clear stances. Newcomers think differently because they have lived in the singular reality that is densely populated with technical aids to help us ease our lives day in and day out. However, legends like myself and all others who have witnessed the transition phase, period before it and thereafter are not easily convinced by anything that comes in our ways. We tend to make sure things will be helpful – be it a Kindle reader or digital publishing industry. And not only in the literary sense of the argument strictly, but we can also put the same values in any possible debate about the technical aids. Nevertheless, as I am concerned with the literary field and the use of extensive technology, I will stick to it only. I will also focus on tech and book bloggers and book review websites.
Technology is not the enemy. I agree. Technology has only tried or sufficient to say that already made it possible for many people with stories to tell to reach their potential readers and tell their stories. However, do we all have stories to tell? While there are billions who have stories to read, I am not sure there are even millions who have ‘good’ stories to tell. And technology has eliminated this distinction between the good and the not good (I will not put it as bad).
Arguing for and arguing against can give us many nights of sleeplessness. However, one thing that will be the certain outcome of these endless debates may be concluded that there are two apparent sides to it and no one can say it with conviction that technology has only brought good changes to the world of literature (and other worlds). Somewhere in between, the good things lie – reaching masses together, helping the writers with potential but no resources, adding spice to the world of literary bloggers, creating a whole new base of job opportunities for book bloggers and literary critics who rather post their words online when no traditional publication offer their genuine idea space in their costly columns. Tech has assisted the growth in literature across languages. Hindi literature, English literature and even Sanskrit literature, including others such as Greek and Latin have reappeared because of the technical aids. So, there is no denying the good usage of tech.
And if we realise there are good things as well, we cannot simply deflect that there are bad things two. And this goes both ways. A writer who is not good can claim that he or she is a wonderful author by getting ‘cheap’ readers. An author who cannot even understand the elements of writing can become a bestseller and we have witnessed such phenomena many a time in recent years. A community of book bloggers can work in a coalition against writers whom they don’t like and make their lives hell. Likewise, certain bloggers with clout and influence over readers can come together to make a mountain of a mole… the rewards are many and so are the risks.
With technology, came the revolution. With the revolution, we must witness evolution before the distinction between good and not good blurs out of proportion and readers and writers with sincerity in their hearts are left oblivion and the world marches ahead, riding the back of technology!
By Agraj for The Best Books