Opinion: Something Old, Something New

Life in 2019 is living in the digital age. We have never been as technologically advanced as in this very moment and most of us interact with the digital world on a daily base. The online world is ever evolving and the speed with which we create and improve the technology we use is ever increasing. We live with and through digital media and often don’t even notice it. Even though it is hard to imagine, we all know there was a time when there were no digital media and sometimes I catch myself longing to those ‘simpler’ times.

Movies show us futures filled with holograms, robots, and digitalized houses, yet I sometimes I’d rather wish to be in That 70s Show. Games get more realistic with each new version and yet I grabbed my Gameboy not too long ago. But I’m not the only one turning my back on the present and future sometimes. Putting phones away for a day or maybe longer, and deleting social media or at least taking a break from it every now and then seem to be popular trends that show some of us need a little escape from our digital lives once in a while.

Why is it though, that even though we are spoiled with the newest digital tools I feel a yearning to ignore those and look towards the past? The internet provides us with unlimited music databases including songs of every kind, time periods and gives us endless recommendations for new songs to discover. Why is it then that modern trends have shown a renewed love for an old-fashioned way of listening to music. Record players and cassette players  appear to have regained popularity and new albums are sold on vinyl again. I, too, am guilty of owning an old record player and having a fair share of old and new vinyl laying around. If you ask me why, I can tell you a dreamy story about the romance of playing a record; carefully placing the needle to make sure I don’t miss anything of the (first) song, the soft cracking you can hear through the tones of the music and the charming look of having a record player in the room. Although this overly romanticized picture is part of the reason why I own one, I believe the charm comes more from what the record doesn’t provide.

The world right now is layered, complex and interlinked. That’s interesting, which is why we line up to sit in a classroom and learn about the ins and outs of the digital world. It is incredible that there is so much available information and how easy we can access that nowadays. We study the present and future world and get excited for technology yet to be invented. Yet, the other side of this unlimited flow of information is that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. After reading article after article about the internet of things I feel impressed in two ways. It is incredible what we have created, but also quite intimidating. Perhaps because it is hard to wrap my head around everything and as is human, I am cautious with what I don’t understand.  

A record player has its limits, you can only play one album, or even one song. Endlessly skipping songs isn’t possible and once the record is finished there is no immediate recommendation for a next song to play. The charm is the simplicity. It isn’t infinite in its possibilities and therefore offers me some piece of mind. And even though I love to submerge myself in information and learn about everything new, my brain isn’t ready to handle the almost limitless world we are already in. Imagine the future.