I have a passionate love and hate relationship with technology. Actually, to be completely honest, my hate is not so much with technology, but with its addictive quality and how it can damage actual relationships. Don’t believe me? Just spend some time with a few friends and see how many of them take out their phones to text, tweet, or update their Facebook statuses. But this not a blog about technology alienation versus connectedness. Maybe some other time I’ll write about that.
Longing for Yesterday
Humanity has made tremendous leaps in technology in just a few decades. But as much as we love to drop a few hundred dollars on some new gadget, it’s interesting and ironic that we long for the things of the past. One personal example of that is the 8MM video app for the iPhone, which I truly love. The app mimics the look and feel of video cameras from the 20s, 60s, 70s and much more. The irony is that all this is being done with an iPhone, which is undoubtedly one of the most technologically advanced smart phones.
Take Instagram for example. I dare say that one of the most desired qualities of Instagram is the filters the company offers. And yes, most of their popular filters have a vintage feel to them.
Isn’t that the word you see a lot on the Internet nowadays? Vintage. It seems that in some subconscious way we are afraid that we are moving too fast. As much as we love our technology and would never go back, we still long to have access to yesterday’s technology, even if we do so through a smart phone.
Another personal example is that of my wife’s photography’s business. Most of her props are considered vintage and this is the stuff she actively searches for. There are many photographers that do this too. In fact, artists from all disciplines have a longing for technology and gadgets that are long gone.
But why this contradiction? Why do we love our world but still long for yesterday’s?
Perhaps it can be attributed to romanticism, to the idea of “simpler times.” Or as I mentioned earlier, perhaps it’s because our world is changing so quickly thanks to technology, that we want to slow it down somehow (even though we know we can’t). I’m not sure what the answer is. Perhaps it is a little bit of both. Of what I am sure though is that I love my iPhone, but I also wish I had a vintage record player.
We are all full of contradictions.