Backwards/Forwards – Looking For The Balance In A Digital / Analogue World

So it’s finally started happening. People are fed up of progress and convenience. People are done with MP3s and stopped sharing photo albums on Facebook. Opting instead to collect vinyl and take Polaroids. Opting to move away from the endless drip feed of uninteresting updates from that one strange school friend who still shares status updates. Actually isn’t it just videos and memes now? That and videos of memes. 
I don’t know if I’m just growing up or growing fed up but I’m enjoying this wind of change. For Christmas I recieved the obligatory Urban Outfitters record player (with stand) and a month prior, Miss #TimFord recieved a Fujifilm Instax Mini. That is to say we take Polaroids and listen to Vinyl now. And we are not alone. Vinyl sold more in the past 3 years than it has in the past 25. Every Boots, John Lewis and Argos in the United Kingdom now sells a variety of instant cameras. The best film I’ve watched in a long time was La La Land, a film that aimed to replicate pure CinemaScope, was shot on film and written in the style of the musicals of old. The twist being that nowadays these products cost a lot more to buy than their yesteryear counterparts. But it appears we are willing to pay it for the satisfaction of tactile feedback whether that be the click of a shutter or the crackle of the needle on the edge of the record. 
I’m almost certain this step backwards is part of something bigger. It’s not just about being at least 30% hipster whilst maintaining your day job and a clean shaven face. It’s more about a desire to own things. To feel things. To do something. Not just to scroll and select. Not just to sit and absorb the constant drip feed of non-information that is pushed in our direction on a daily basis.
Perhaps in the near future I will walk into a room and people will be reading the Sunday papers as opposed to a midweek, digital, Daily Express article on what the new Samsung Galaxy S8 might look like. Or I will go out for dinner and my friends faces won’t be lit up by organic light emitting diodes.
For me it’s not necessarily about turning my back on technology. I love my phone, I love Spotify, Clash of Clans and WhatsApp. Flipboard, twitter and Snapchat. But I also love triathlon, long swims and rides where my phone is either in a locker or a zip pocket. I love speaking to human beings in a pub or a cafe without signal or wifi. I love the ritual of placing a record on the turntable and listening to my favourite album from start to finish. There is a fine balance in everything and finding it is difficult but the key is to reap the benefits of both a digital and an analogue world. Listen to singles of an artist your not sure about on Spotify and if you love it buy the album on vinyl. When you’ve only got 10 shots left of film you’ll make sure each shot is framed perfectly. Why read an article full of speculation when you can wait for the announcement. 
Looking forward 5 years, I can almost guarantee that when my first self driving car parks itself on my driveway, I will still want to have an old school convertible with a manual transmission and heavy steering. Just to keep in touch with what “real” feels like. 

Tim Ford

Tim Ford - Member of Public. Member of Staff. Constantly reviewing passions, somehow still running this website years on.