Can you guess what ten things I have on this list that people relished doing before technological advancements (seem to) replaced them? Take a couple of minutes to make up your list before reading on and see if we’ve ticked off the same things!
I found this quaint little bookstore a few days ago while I was window shopping and upon entering it, I was hit with that distinct smell that only comes in between a book’s pages (book lovers know what I mean!). I used to buy books and get a whiff of this before reading on. I ended up buying two used paperback novels and walked away musing that for quite some time; I haven’t opened books anymore as I download them to my phone now.
And so, my musing ended with me making up this list.
- Bringing books – big, small, thin, massive – anywhere, even to the point of cuddling one in bed.
I was in high school when those thick, hardbound Harry Potter books came out. But the Potterheads in my class didn’t mind bringing those bulky novels around along with their equally heavy school bags because the story was exciting they were hard to put down. Another research by Dr. Avnj Bavishi et al.found that “those who read books for an average of 30 minutes per day – say, a chapter a day – showed a survival advantage, compared to those who did not read books.”
But now, if you have a smartphone, you just download a book reader app then start downloading books from the internet. And voila! Bulky books inside your pockets!
- Browsing and reading broadsheets.
My dad is the editor-in-chief of a local newspaper and every two weeks; he’d bring a big bundle of broadsheets at home that I’d pore over for hours answering the crossword puzzles. The only news I was interested back then was entertainment and I pretty much ignored all the others.
Now, we have access to news at the tips of our fingers even before they hit news portals. All thanks to the World Wide Web.
- Doing handwritten letters.
I visited my city’s post office for an urgent matter once and marveled at how quiet, and unbusy everyone looked.
I love how handwritten letters have personal touches, but sadly, its practice is slowly diminishing with e-mail, messengers, and other talking-texting apps taking its place.
- Anything handwritten or handmade – projects, calligraphies, even neat handwriting.
School projects, assignments, and even tests – all these are done electronically via the net. So, every time I see an opportunity to DIY – be it thank you cards, gift wrapping and making gift tags – I grab them without the use of anything computer-related.
- Taking pictures using an analog camera.
I love pictures taken via an analog camera because they come with negative strips and I have fun looking at them through the light (weird, I know!). But today, digital is the name of the game, even when it comes to picture taking.
- Playing outdoor games.
My childhood was fun with all the romps under the sun with friends, playing house and cooking real food, or biking and getting our knees skinned. But now, our handheld devices have become our sources of entertainment, too, even for our kids.
- Making friends the old-fashioned way.
“Good friends are vitally important to your mental health and to the quality of your life,” according to Shirley Vandersteen, Ph. D., R. Psych. When we want to befriend someone, we have to go our way to meet that person and talk to him or her. I remembered one time in high school; I joined a camp once and faced a dilemma – I had to make friends or be content to stay in a corner all three days. But going out of the way to meet people was a big leap for an introvert like me. Well, I was able to gather up enough courage to approach two girls and up to know, I’m happy to say we keep in contact with each other.
Nowadays, teenagers with their smartphones are content to sit in one corner and chat their time away with their online friends.
- Enjoying a moment as it is.
Analog cameras were a bit pricey in my time that we didn’t have one. So, whenever I came around a lovely scenery, chanced upon a beautiful moment or attended someone’s life-changing event, I either paint, write something about it in my diary or just keep it in mind as an unforgettable memory.
Now, we can take pictures of anything and everything we find fantastic and share it with everyone we know in social media so they can gush on it, too.
- Talking to everyone who’s around the table come dinner time.
“Human connection is a powerful tool and builds skills that last a lifetime,” said Katie Hurley, LCSW. When I still lived with my parents, dinner times were our family’s talk time as it was the only meal we could all come together to eat. My dad would ask how our day was and we’d tell them the highlights. Additionally, we talk about almost anything at the dinner table. We even do impromptu debates on things we didn’t agree on which my mom would always end by walking out.
I try to emulate this same practice in my home now, but at times, TV and smartphones get in the way.
People almost always shared everything they do on social media – from foods to their clothes to the places they’ll visit and what they’re doing. We’ve become so transparent with our life dealings that we even post our fights in our newsfeeds.
There’s nothing wrong with technological advancements. After all, they make our lives easier. But I think, we need to check our dependency and our use of them as we might be crossing a boundary we’ll regret in the end.