If you’ve ever been in a room full of typewriters, you know what kind of cacophonous sound they can help create. Mind you, this refers to electric typewriters and not the manual ones. Nevertheless, you haven’t heard anything distracting until you’ve heard 50 typewriters in a typing class going at once. While this might have been a slightly nightmarish picture in a high school class 20 years ago, what about the lone typewriter in someone’s room?
Even the sound of one typewriter was once a familiar sound that sometimes became an annoyance to those who had to hear it in the immediate vicinity. When the quiet digital keyboard came into existence, we finally could work on our secret novels well into the night without having to drive everyone else in the household insane.
But as with all conveniences, there’s always trouble around the corner. Security is becoming a supreme issue now in worrying about hackers getting into our computers and stealing our documents. With script leaks becoming so common, screenwriters working on coveted screenplays may also be a victim of a hacker that steals it right off their computer for a major payoff.
It’s these kinds of threats and other issues that seem to be giving some writers a second look at the old typewriter. And it’s the old manual typewriters of many decades ago that could have an ironic renaissance.
Why Some Are Starting to Use Typewriters Again
With a manual typewriter, you’re faced with the basics again and realizing that your writing projects may actually be safer this way. When word processing became available in the 1980s, everyone thought there was no way back and that storing a novel or a screenplay on a disk was going to be safer than a physical copy. This was back when the thought of a hacker was a rare dare, or perhaps even over-the-top fiction when viewed in the “Wargames” mold.
It’s more than clear that physical copies of our writing work are much safer now than having it sitting on our computers. While this might be arguable when physical copies of scripts have also leaked recently, you can at least lock your house and generally know someone won’t get in there. There’s never any guarantee that someone won’t hack you on your computer, no matter how much security you have.
Beyond that, eyestrain is starting to become a major factor in the prolonged use of our computers. With our over-reliance on using our PC or Macs for careers and social media, it’s a wonder our population isn’t going around with bloodshot eyes every morning. Especially with our use of large-screen monitors at close range, we may be nurturing a new generation needing eventual eyewear. So far, though, a manual typewriter has no way of frying a hole in your cornea.
Then there’s the aesthetic aspect to typewriters. Will you soon be going into someone workroom and see a 1920s-era Corona or Remington typewriter sitting on their desk?
Bringing Back the Past
You’ll find some blogs that support the idea of this new manual typewriter renaissance. While it obviously won’t be a big renaissance unless major security gaps start occurring on all our computers, it gives a throwback to the days when writing something creative meant real blood, sweat, and tears. If editing is more of a problem on manual typewriters, many people just love the compactness and overall look of one on their desk.
While some were the 1920s version of a laptop computer, the element of surprise at old things seems to be making a comeback. We’re already seeing it through direct mail campaigns that still work more effectively than digital advertising. You’ll even find those who still love using VCRs as a path toward moving back to basics.
The use of a manual typewriter may end up being the most useful of all once we get to a point where nothing becomes safe on our computers. Once that unusual market opens up, companies may have to start making new manual typewriters with silent keys so they’re more convenient to use. It’s then when we may see the past and the modern-day merge into hybrid versions of much safer tools to help give us some sense of peace.