It begins subtly.
There’s a small ad in the right-hand column from a nostalgia stock photo agency showing a guy with a pipe writing the great American novel on an ancient Underwood typeriter.
A few days later, a woman is shown in a sponsored post typing her memoir, or perhaps journaling, via a somewhat more modern (but non-electric) portable.
Few people notice.
The following week, typewriters begin to appear in book promotion posts, inspirational status updates about the myth of writer’s block, and in pleas from publishers asking us to send them our best work (albeit in a DOCX file).
So far, the Centers for Disease Control appears not to have noticed the infestation.
Speculation from conspiracy fans is rife: (a) Those who distrust writers want to hypnotize us into using outmoded equipment, (b) there’s been a security breach at an Area-51 lab experimenting with sending hexed typewriters to third-world planets, (c) Somebody found an abandoned warehouse filled with typewriters and is trying to unload them on aspiring writers before they (the writers) learn there’s no place to buy typewriter ribbon.
Is Facebook’s typewriter infestation innocent nostalgia, an on-gong “Throw Back Thursday” of yesteryear images, or just a lot of overworked copywriters copying each other?
I don’t have any proof yet, but I suspect the glut of typewriters appearing on Facebook is more nefarious than we can imagine and that if you look closely at any of Nostradamus’ more obscure prophecies, you’ll see that he said this was going to happen.
If you’re a writer, run for your life.