Confessions Of A Laptop Lover

Are you a tapping twit or a scrawny scribbler?

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Let me pose a question. Do you or do you not take a laptop to lectures?

Despite the extraordinarily multi-faceted nature of our student body, we can all be pigeonholed into two very distinctive camps. You are in one of those camps.

Technology is making its mark everywhere: televisions in the living rooms, CCTVs on the streets, even toothbrushes in the bathrooms. Now technology has penetrated its way into the hallowed walls of the Cambridge lecture theatre. A revolutionary transition is steadily emerging, as aisles of lecture desks are becoming engulfed by a wave of laptops. Although a strong proportion of resilient students are yet to be swept away, their numbers are diminishing quickly.

Whatever happened to the good old days of the pen and paper? The bearers of the pen are fighting a losing battle. As they cling on to a sacred practice, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the old-fashioned method of note-taking is losing popularity at an alarming rate.

With astute pragmatism, the students have embraced technology. There’s no question that laptops are winning the hearts and minds of the young adult. Many of us have evolved with the turn of the modern era, and as Darwin has proved time and time again, many have flourished.

Last year, I was one of the lofty pen bearers. I was not envious of the laptop users; in fact, I pitied them. How weak they all were to have succumbed to such toys! How dependable they all were with those silly gizmos. With their inferior wrist muscles, the poor things shall cripple and die in the heat of the exam! I resented the noise of their hyperactive little fingers prancing about upon those irritating keys, the sound all too familiar to those with rat infested rooves. The thought of converting to the dark side didn’t even cross my mind.

With blind indifference I ploughed through my first year, adamant that I would not catch the technology bug. With head held high, I hauled piles of notepads and stacks of pens. I clogged up my room with indiscernible notes before compressing them tightly into wastepaper bins.  I spent the best part of my days filing things away into miscellaneous folder compartments. It was an overwhelming experience –too much clutter to sift through and too little time.

It wasn’t until a few days ago when, with sobering enlightenment, I succumbed to the fact that perhaps the most efficient way to go about things was to adapt to the times; to put down the pen and pick up a netbook. It was a painful, almost unbearable thought to abandon my primitive tribe of pen-men. But, as my head cleared, I realised it was the best thing to do.

With the help of some computer-literate “friends”, I purchased the perfect netbook on Amazon: it has a whopping eight hours of battery life, a tiny ten inch screen (bigger than yours, mate), and the storage capacity equivalent to a dozen boxes of notes. My entire lecture life is now lying on a desk right in front of me, manifested in the form of a light and compact piece of metal.

Since my conversion, a huge paper weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Nowadays, taking notes is efficient and easy. I can keep up with every word of wisdom uttered from my lecturer’s mouth, and at the same time be comfortable in the knowledge that all my notes will remain entirely legible. I can find whatever I want with the click of a mouse. I inhabit a clutter-free room. On Monday mornings, I can place my brain on standby and effortlessly type away without having to limit myself to the ‘relevant’ bits.  I am no longer the victim of malicious pen theft, and in case I ever get bored, there’s always pinball.

As students in Cambridge, it’s easy to find comfort in old habits. When those habits become a hindrance however, it’s best just to sack them off and get with the times. The moa, the Steller’s sea cow and the dodo can all confirm this for me. They’re extinct, after all.