It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.”
A passing siren has momentarily drowned out the sound of my typing. The words continue to appear on my screen, as if by magic. I look down at my hands, wondering when they became so efficient.
a – r – e, a – n – d, t – h – e
My high school self hammered out an endless supply of three letter drills. The workload split evenly between index fingers. Keyboarding wasn’t an obligatory task, but it was already the obvious way forward. If History taught the ways of the world, and Geography the way to move freely through it, it stood to reason that a modern and reliable method of composition and communication would be a necessity.
Still, the keyboard’s output remained flat. A one note ode to coordination gone wrong. Around me, my peers purred a singsongy click-clack as I laboured to catch up. By semesters end I had squeaked out B-. I was learning the keys… albeit slowly.
In 2020, digital proficiency is no longer an elective. Computer literacy has become essential to success in every subject. Swooshes of sent emails, and trills of rapidly typed texts fill the air at all times. When combined, the alerts, beeps, and dings create a grand synthetic symphony. The World Wide Web makes ideas into dollar signs at a rate equal to those quick clicks of the keyboard.
tap, tap, tap
My hands now move with the precision of a well trained percussionist. The faster I drum, the more I can do, see or make. Sat with my hands poised above my computer I join the catchy chorus of risk, reward, what if? Today’s task is writing, tomorrow’s teaching, and then, the sweet sounds of a podcast duet.
Astounding that an instrument I couldn’t play in high school now allows me to command a virtual orchestra. From ordering cupcakes, to creating delicious buzz and tasty profits; comfort, community and commerce are all within reach. The Internet is a store that’s open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. This is the Era of the Entrepreneur and another hit is written every minute.
But what of those who wish only to support, or simply want to sit back and listen? There is space for all here. You’re only ever one scroll away from patronizing this show. After all, The Gig Economy can’t sell out the theatre on it’s own. It requires techs and front of house staff. Concessions and catering and contract experts too. People to pull the curtains, and a custodian to clean it all up afterwards. There are as many roles in this production as there are characters on your keyboard.
As I return to the task at hand, I am overcome by the opportunities that this console has given me. The melody of web based business stuck in my head, I let the beat travel directly to my digits. They now move so fast they seem to bypass my brain altogether…
The digital world is yours to play with, watch, and sing along to. Can you hear it?