I like to think of myself as a forward-thinking kind of gal.
When my VCR died, I didn’t replace it with a new one; I bought DVR instead. Always geographically challenged and unable to read a map, it’s great to be able to simply plug my destination’s address into my GPS and voila! I am there. Despite its flaws, I believe Wikipedia is a better source of information than the decades-old set of encyclopedias I used to refer to and I would rather search on Craigslist than buy a newspaper. I no longer have a landline; I sleep with my iPhone. And does anybody miss dial-up internet?
I tweet. I google. I skype. I wouldn’t trade 411 for a stack of phone books any day of the week. But there are a handful of items now considered obsolete that I hope I am never, ever forced to give up.
- Mortar and brick bookstores and paper books.
I love my Kindle. There is something magical about having two hundred books at my disposal in less space than a quality paperback. But I still feel a pang when I see my favorite Borders bookstore sitting empty. And even though I know that digital publishing is the wave of the future, I have that digital books never replace paper books altogether. There is nothing like the feel of a hardcover book with a dust jacket in one’s hand. And I dream of seeing a traditionally published book with my name on the cover at my local independent bookstore. I just hope I’m not too late.
Yes, I have an iPod containing thousands of songs. But I prefer to buy my CD’s as opposed to mp3’s and add them to my music collection that way. I know those jewel boxes are bulky and cumbersome. But I love the cover art and the CD inserts all folded up inside them. I know you can print them out from iTunes and elsewhere. But somehow it just isn’t the same.
- Phone calls.
I am like a teenager when it comes to texting; I find it to be quick, easy and fun. But sometimes text messaging feels cold and impersonal. Sometimes I just want to hear the sound of another person’s voice – soothing, comforting, reassuring.
- Handwritten cards and letters.
I use email on a daily basis; obviously, it is a very efficient method of communication. But every now and then I feel the need to like to sift through my large box of handwritten communication dating back to the 1960’s: letters exchanged between my grandmother and me and birthday cards signed by aunts and uncles who are no longer with us; correspondence between my parents and me after I left home, went to college and got married; notes from two of my brothers who are also now deceased; Christmas cards with handwritten notes from other family members and far-flung friends. There is something special about being able to touch the embossed designs on the greeting cards or rub my fingers over the individual’s handwriting; it brings cherished loved ones close in a way that emails never will.
What about you? What keeps you from being totally invested in the technology of 2012?