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From the Editor

April 1, 2009

APRIL

This is the fifth month for The Talking Twenties!  Starts are always rocky, I figure, but all and all this hasn’t been a bad one.  Now that we’ve got a new, more magazine-like format and we’ve opened up submissions, I like to think we’re that much closer to where we’d like to be: a blogzine that’s just as good as a magazine, written by many in order to represent almost everyone and the unique views that they hold.

April Cover, photo by Vitaly Nikolaev

April Cover, photo by Vitaly Nikolaev

As a writer, I’m very dependent on my beast of a Compaq laptop here.  It’s not unusual for me to get sick of typing and for my eyes to get tired from always looking at the screen.  I’ve got a nice little setup, however, on a desk in front of a window.  It’s been nice watching all the birds come back to the northeast when I need to give my eyes a break from the screen.

We all know the usual saying, that spring is a time of reinvention and renewal.  I find myself renewing, well, myself, a lot lately, and stepping away from my computer has been a big part of that.  I remember the days when a computer was this great new toy!  Now that it’s a tool of my trade, it’s not high on my list of things to play with.

I find I missed nature a lot this winter, more than any year before, I’d say.  My attempts to reconnect have resulted in me chasing after robins in my neighborhood with a sketchbook, scrawling through almost an entire notebook in the sunshine until my hand cramped up, heading to a nature reserve only to find out they were closed on that day until May, and having two very nasty onslaughts of allergies.  Connecting with nature, it seems, is an imperfect art, just as much as writing.

Someone told me a while ago that the internet is the new way to socialize.  It definitely seems to be so; when the Vatican suggested Catholic followers abstain from internet technologies in order to rediscover face-time during the pre-Easter season of Lent, it caused a bit of a stir, since the internet and Blackberries and all that good stuff are now associated with being connected, to work, to others and to the outside world.

But what happens when, during the time you spend on your computer, you become obligated to be doing something constructive, instead of leaving your friends messages on Facebook or e-mailing your old college dorm mates?  What if, in my case and in the case of many of my friends who are now graduate students or professionals, a computer is a place for work?  When that happens, internet socializing is something that gets done on the side, the extreme side, when it’s not an opportune time to go out and there’s no more work to be done for the time being.  After all, who doesn’t want a little face-time, with friends and with the budding season of spring?

For our generation, perhaps there will always be a constant struggle to find the balance, the one that (at least theoretically) exists between being too connected via the internet (internet news, social networking) and too remote (face-time only).  Because our society, social norms and technology have evolved together, choosing between traditional and technological connectedness no longer seems to be an option.

This month, I’m challenging you to use your free time on the computer to bring your real life experiences, discussions and ideas to the technological world, and write a little something for The Talking Twenties.  No April Fools joke here — keep thinking and keep writing, everybody!

— keito, The Editor
April 1, 2009

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