The Evolution of Media

One of my favourite television series is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, I know it’s complete escapism but there are a lot of things I like about it. One of the best characters, in my mind, is Rupert Giles. Giles is Buffy’s Watcher. He is there to train her, keep her on track. He often ends up quite exasperated with the teenage Buffy, who constantly rebels against her ‘calling’. Giles ends up being a father figure.
The character is often seen to be a bit of a ‘fuddy-duddy’. He first appears as the high school librarian. He is extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Slayer and all that goes with it. Yet he resists anything that would propel him into the ‘modern world’, so to speak. He calls the computer the ‘dread machine’. In an argument with another teacher (who later becomes his girlfriend), he claims that books are far superior to the computer. His reason is that computers have no smell. Other than the smell that goes with heated electronics, of course.

Giles does make a point. If you’ve ever walked into a used bookstore, you’ll know what I mean when I say that books have a smell. A sort of musty kind of odour that for bibliophiles like myself, is not unpleasant. Newspapers, too, have a certain smell, as well as a certain sound. I know of a few people who love the sound of rustling newspaper.

I consider myself to be as ‘old-fashioned’ as Giles in many ways. I do use technology, in that I have a computer, and an e-book reader. However, when I’m reading, I prefer the physical book. Especially if it’s by my favourite author.

Back in the early days of television, there were thoughts that it would cause a drop in cinema attendance. Yet movies are still as popular as ever. Granted, some now come to you via Netflix, or other subscription-based websites, yet there are still some moviegoers who prefer to see films on the big screen.

It’s the same with books. Many people thought that when e-books were first introduced that they would see the end of books in the printed form. That hasn’t happened and E-readers aren’t as popular as one might expect.

The point is, the medium has evolved. Whether movies, television, newspapers or books, the way we consume such things may change, but there are some who do still prefer the ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing things.

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