Analog Joy in a Digital World


If you are like me you have many devices and screens to look at every day. In the old days my parents got the newspaper every day and that is how we got our news. Now I just look at my Facebook feed or browse Google News to see what is new.

Everywhere around me I see people hunched over a small screen or reading from a laptop. We are so connected and so alone. #YesImOld

This weekend we had a great time at our local library. All screens were shut off and we browsed through many books, movies and music CDs. (Remember those?) My favorite part of the experience was watching my daughter search out a book and her eyes lighting up as she found the book and then watching my wife sitting down with her and reading the book to her.

Another analog event for me was the ballet (I know, I know…) which was the Elton John inspired show by the Alberta ballet company called “Love Lies Bleeding” and it reminded me of how much I love the music of Sir Elton. I used to sit and listen to music all the time – now if I listen at all it is background as I try and “multi-task” and read two things at once on some screen. It is much nicer to relax and just listen. Here’s to single tasking! (Pssssttt, a key aspect of the success of the iPad…)

As I ramble on here about the old days (kids today…) I am also reading a book called “A World Without Time” which explores the relationship (no, not that way-although there is nothing wrong with it…) between Kurt Godel and Albert Einstein and their discussions on philosophy, physics and the nature of time. When Godel was a young man he was part of a group of like minded thinkers who gathered in a coffee shop to regularly to discuss ideas and support each other.

This was common among many of the great thinkers and artists in the early to mid 20th century and even later with some comedians including Jerry Seinfeld. Whether it was Godel and the circle of Vienna or the modern day Seinfeld with his comedic buddies these groups allowed these artists to continue until one or many of them succeeded.

Now with our digital tools it is easier than ever before to connect with anymore on the globe but we are losing the human connection. We are distracted by our multi tasking and relentless search for the new or shiny.

I hope I can slow down and enjoy the analog world more. The new digital tools are great for simplying some tasks and for amplifying others but there is a danger of losing the real and strong connections in lieu of the digital and easy loose connections.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Interwebs and the Googles is still my favorite way to find the news but there is something to be said about maintaining some of that analog joy in a digital world.