I saw this primitive version of Twitter in a bathroom hallway at the Persephone Bakery in Jackson Hole, WY last month. Overlooking the poor location (it was a small space) and hygiene issue, it was an interesting idea. You take a recycled slip of paper (pre-torn into small slips), put it in the old typewriter, type a note, then place it on the wall with a thumbtack.
Poems, love notes, jokes, messages between people, adages and observations covered the wall. The thought-provoking question is – Why?
Perhaps because it was a machine or toy, people wanted to play with it. A new technology to a youth. A nostalgic one for someone older. Maybe a grandfather wants to show his grandson in the same way a grandson wants to show grandpa the latest technologies. Or perhaps a means to connect with someone that you know, or someone you haven’t met. Sitting in the dining area watching the hallway to see if someone reads the message, if it makes them smile, laugh or frown. Did people feel like they needed to type something to fit in, because everyone else had? Or did they dismiss it as too cutesy. What did it say about the person if they stopped to read, typed something or didn’t type something. When more people were around, did some people use it more often, or less often. It could have been a way to leave a mark, to let people know you were there. Or writing a note in response to something you saw on the wall – to chime in or to contradict. Did they choose to type their name on the slip and was it a real name.
It makes you also wonder if people reading the slips took down any objectionable ones or was that up to the management. Were there unwritten rules for typing on the wall. And did the bakery put the typewriter in as a marketing idea or for inspiration. I didn’t type a note, but I kind of wish I had.