A Travel Journal, SUVpacking America

On the road. Discovering who This New Man is.

Paperless New Man Style

Paperless Hotspot at SXSW2013 gaming event

Paperless Hotspot at SXSW2013 gaming event

“Paper devices only, please.”

A funny sign in a gaming and technology gathering. Overall, this public component of the SXSW Austin, TX, event was a dark frenzy of mostly very young, very ethnic people, many dressing to the max of their digital fantasies. Paper really didn’t seem to have a role to play.

Apparently, however, this was a last ditch effort on someone’s part to give paper one last chance to prove its worth. A couch-surfer paradise, rugged library-like sitting area strewn with open, de-shelved has-been reading instruments; those things some of us remember as printed books. The display was billed as a “Paper Hotspot”, and it brought a smile. But to me as with others, it quickly lost its impact: not so much an idea in fashion.

The people of the virtual generations have no desire to look back in this manner. Those days are gone, earning their place between the covers and maybe on the shelves of the libraries that might just survive the “e” budget cuts. But all in all, these relics don’t have much appeal to those who have already crossed over into the connectivity of the future.

I liked the display in part because it reflected the differences between these generations. The people who were lounging around in the comfortable spaces … well, how do I put this tactfully? … don’t fit the image of The New Man, or for that matter the rest of the guys at the event (and it was very much a man and boy’s gathering). Those who found comfort in this mocking had scowls on their faces, displaying their disdain for those who didn’t appreciate their sentiment.

But clearly it was those within the couch circle that didn’t seem to get it. The New Man may have been forced to circle the lair, but he wasn’t falling for the trap; the pages were dead and he didn’t really seem to care all that much.

The New Man is evolving because computer technology offers him a look at and hands-on access to a far different world. Everything is virtual and digital and it does not limit him to the power roles of the past. And even though “paper devices” might be a cute play on words, it wasn’t scoring many style points for those who were inside or out of the bounds of its influences from the past!

The New Man’s Style is Paperless.


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This entry was posted on March 11, 2013 by in Erick Says and tagged , , , , .

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