These days, something as simple as a phone call can get you called a psycho, but a decade ago it wasn’t so strange. It’s amazing what a little time can do to the norm, but the further we get down the digital rabbit hole the more antiquated style is becoming endangered. Before we look so deeply into the face of our phones that we lose the important stuff, let’s take a look an alternative living for youngsters before we’re gone (and robots enslave the rest).
Vinyl vs. MP3
There has been a recent resurgence of audiophiles, those music-loving, headphone-wearing folks who understand there is life beyond the digital MP3. Although it’s convenient to endlessly stream your gloomy doom music, the MP3 is a compression of music files that takes away and breaks away from a quality listening experience.
A vinyl player is the closest thing to live music you’ll find. It’s the raw sounds beautifully orchestrated to allow you to really hear the music, really understand what you’re listening to, uninterrupted by other distraction and multi-tasking. Sit with the music for five songs, have an almost religious experience with it, then flip it over and repeat.
Pool & Ping Pong vs. Snapchat & Twitter
When people have free time, they don’t fill the gaps the way they used to. They reach for their phones, and they stay on it until the next life event happens. That, or they get in a car accident, hit by a car or their battery dies. Games like pool and ping pong teach people about discipline, keep them sharp and are great tools for breaking up the work day or finding solutions by stepping away from a problem. Social media offer strained eyes and sore fingers, and it makes you look like a total weirdo.
Handwritten Letters vs. Email
How does it feel when you get an email, a long drawn-out text or, god forbid, a Facebook post on your birthday instead of a phone call? Let’s be honest: It fucking sucks. Communication has become a joke, one hilarious grossly misused emoji after another. The best way to lose sincerity or general contact with somebody close to you, try those quick (lazy) modern attempts. If you write a letter to your father, send a birthday card to a distant friend or stop by to see a nearby friend with no agenda, this is a promise that it will blow at least one mind.
Print Books & Magazines vs. Tablets & e-Readers
There shouldn’t be any debate that, while tablets are convenient, there is something inherently special about touching a tangible piece of art or information. Besides that, staring at your screen until you go to dream is pretty bad for eyes and your nightmares, along with all the other things that are bad ideas before bed. Read a newspaper, if you can find one, with your coffee. It’s the most thrilling thing you can do in public. People will be in awe of you.
Standing in Line at the Bank vs. Depositing Online
Have we become so efficient as a society that we’re above going to the bank? I remember when the drive-thrus came out, I was pretty bummed when my mother indulged. To this day, I still take my checks in when I can. Is it because they still hand out hot coffee and hard candy, namely Dum-Dum suckers, to this day? The short answer is yes. But there is something important about being bored, taking a look around and being a part of the world that youngsters and phone addicts seem to be losing. It’s not a connected world if we’re all hiding alone with our bright screens.
Scrapbooks vs. iPhoto Moments
Laugh all you want, but scrapbooking is going to make a dramatic comeback. With phone these days, people have stockpiles of photos they’ll never tend to, 30 copies of the same selfie pose that were never used nor discarded. First, we pollute the Earth, now the imaginary clouds are full of our trash.
If you’re in the tiny percentage of film photographers, good for you, but even if you keep it digital, it’s still important to print them out, lest they disappear into the ether of things you’re less likely to revisit. Photographs present a timeline of existence, a reminder of good times and bad haircuts, and without them, we’re doomed to repeat history and live less happy lives. Print off photos that remind you who you are and what’s important to you.
Board Games vs. Phone Games
As stated before, if phones, social media and the Internet were meant to help us be more connected, why are depression and anxiety at an all-time high? People aren’t communicating genuinely like they used to. Instead of board games, they play phone games by themselves. The selfie is the purest form of narcissism we have, people who are completely obsessed with themselves and completely unaware. What ever happened to game night with your friends? It seems the holidays with the family are the only time people step back. Let’s have a little more Apples to Apples and a little less Pokemon Go. Or play a rousing game of Chardee MacDennis.
AM Radio vs. High-Def TV
Now this one is a bit of a stretch, but I’m lobbing it out there hoping someone connects with it. Sometimes the power of listening is magnificent when you have to visualize, kind of like driving to an audiobook. While binging on Netflix’s newest originals is appropriate from time to time, why not try having a little grandfatherly fun and listen to the ball game — listen, not watch — and see how much you can get into it? We’re not saying you have to listen to the Cubs win the World Series. That shit never happens so get a good visual.
Live Shows vs. YouTube
Just because YouTube is free and easy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out and be a part of something. You think watching clips of Mick Jagger rooster tailing on stage holds a candle to watching the Stones on stage in the middle of the open desert with nothing but 100 thousand crazed music lovers? Guess again. Don’t take the easy way out. Go to shows and break up the routine. Doesn’t matter what you’re into, but you can’t get easily motivated to create something of your own without a little fire lit on the wild hairs of your ass.
Introducing Yourself to Strangers vs. Tinder
Put simply, don’t be such a chicken shit. There’s any number of reasons you should meet new people in person whenever possible, but the big one is probably HPV, because you know the people of Tinder aren’t being honest about anything. While it’s easy to swipe, stalk and harass lovely faces, it’s another thing to meet them in public, realize they have no personality and then move on, only to settle down with a normal, nice girl who would never put herself in such a weird position. See if you can have a conversation with someone you don’t know that doesn’t involve alcohol or you “grabbing her by the __.” We dare you. Know the difference between a man and a gentleman.