It probably comes as no surprise to you that I am not tech savvy. At least not in the grand scheme of things anyway.
I’ve come to terms with how much I loathe e-books – just give me something I can HOLD – and how excited I get when I receive free postcards with my clothing purchases. I still hold onto pretty packaging and will spend $7 for a postcard of Winona Ryder (best $7 I’ve ever spent).
I will hoard four boxes with nice copy before I even think about opening an email.
I routinely go out and hunt down my favourite magazines, and stack them neatly on my floor for a solid year before I even think about re-purposing (re: ripping out the pretty pages/interviews and sticking them on my walls/in an overflowing folder of ‘inspiration’).
I’m a big fan of lists, and calendars and diaries, all of which have to be physical for me to actually pay any attention to them. I’m still more likely to remember something if I write it down in my diary rather than my phone notes.
I am constantly in awe of brands who go above and beyond in terms of sending freebies or printed material with their products. Go-To Skincare is MAGICAL when it comes to this, as they not only have wizards in the copy and design departments, but their promotional items are literal gems. I’ve now collected a nail file, shower cap, googly eyes, encouraging sticker and a worrying level adoration for Zoe Foster Blake. If there was ever a brand I’d want to be sponsored by…
There is always an exception to the rule, and that very important something, is the humble and ever-unwelcome bill. Now that the world has deemed regular mail ‘not as important’ (I refuse to call it redundant), it’s a right pain in the ass trying to manage bills and fees and general government bullshit with the letters rocking up two weeks after the due date. I have gotten into quite a bit of trouble thanks to our charming postal service, but they aren’t really to blame either. They’re just keeping up with demand, or lack thereof.
I don’t know if this one counts, but I still buy my music. Sure, I’ll stream on Spotify when I’m on the computer, and I may or may not convert certain filmclips to .mp3 (Triple J, you leave us no choice!), but otherwise, every bit of music on my devices is purchased with my hard earned dollars. I like the idea of funding artists, because let’s face it, music is a tough industry to crack, let alone strive in. I like knowing that in some tiny way, I’m contributing to keeping them in the game.
The main contestant, is of course, books. I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to explaining why I cherish print over digital. I KNOW it’s killing trees and there are always way too many copies printed, but it’s a love affair that has lasted decades. There’s just something so intimate and beautiful about holding someone else’s words in your hands. Knowing the months and years they’ve poured into these 300 pages, and then the rejection and changes and obstacles they’ve surpassed to launch that book into the world.
It’s truly a special thing, and one I will never give up, no matter how pricey they may be or how much space they demand. It’s also one of my favourite things to receive as a gift, and I get all warm and fuzzy knowing that someone I love went to a bookstore and browsed the shelves searching for something that screamed me.
This preference also covers friendships, and any relationships at. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m absolutely rubbish when it comes to keeping up with friends online. I take forever to reply, and spend half the time thinking about how much I wish them and would kill to go to a gig together. It’s a double-edged sword, because I don’t see most of my friends very often either.
Thankfully, we seem to all stem from the same, golden cloth in that we can go weeks without chatting and then fire off 6 text messages about something ridiculous that happened today.
If I’m honest, this fear of online relationships is what (partially) keeps me in Cairns. It’s not the right time for us to move anyway, but I am terrified of leaving my two little brothers and not getting to be with them as they grow up – properly. Chatting to them on Facetime will never be the same as getting a cuddle or laying on the couch together. It just won’t.
I’m grateful, of course, that apps like Facetime even exist, and that keeping in touch is easier than it ever was before. As long as they don’t surpass the real thing *cough Tinder*.
I’ve been meaning to write a post about this dilemma for a while, but an event today really pushed me over the edge. *dramatic* I just went to open my Stranger Things soundtrack vinyl for a long overdue play, only to discover that my record player is mysteriously not turning on. Mercury (and Jupiter!) Retrograde is in full, demonic swing, and I had to resort to Spotify to satisfy my curated 80’s cravings.
This kind of proves the opposition’s potential point: physical things just aren’t as reliable. If a book gets wet or lit on fire, it’s gone forever. If your beloved vinyl has a giant fuck off scratch running down the middle of it, chances are it’ll never croon your favourite album again. If the careless removalists rip your favourite poster, that’s it, the damage is done.
Things in the digital sphere are safe from that at least. If something accidentally gets deleted, you can probably just download it again. If you have to leave the room during your favourite guitar riff in a song, it’s a hellova lot easier to rewind the section after you return.
But it’s not the same.
This whole essay is quite ironic, considering I’ve typed it directly onto a computer and am uploading it to a digital diary – but I guess that’s a little thing called balance.
To me, it’s all about creating a healthy mix of tangent loves and digital helpers. I’m not about to ditch my blog or delete my Instagram anytime soon, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who prefers a new notebook to a new note taking app.
Till next time,