I consider myself lucky to have been born when I was. I got to experience what it was like to live before everything was digitized. We had sleepovers without YouTube, memorized our friends’ phone numbers, and the closest thing we had to smart phones were the Tamagotchis we kept as pets. Now, I have the luxury of using the internet every single day, taking thousands of photos just to get the right one, and not having to lug around my 300 slot CD binder so I could have music in my car.
Obviously both worlds have their advantages, but I think it’s important to draw inspiration from both in order to create our own utopia. The thing is, though, even as technologically advanced as we are nowadays, there isn’t really an app for everything. Someone who just got an iPhone and was looking through the app store for the first time might be inclined to disagree with you… there’s an app to track your menstrual cycle, identify the artist of a song you are listening to, and simulate the roll of a dice. It’s impressive how many things we’ve been able to fit into a small rectangle that can go almost anywhere with us, but we really shouldn’t rely on it as heavily as we do.
Three students came up with some stickers (that you can download and print out) to slap on stuff that will remind others to engage in the real thing. I really love this sentiment. Sending a letter and an e-mail have the same basic principles, but they are extremely different experiences. I’ve been carrying the stickers around in my purse, and adding them to things as I remember. One of the biggest things there isn’t an app for is relationships. We can text our friends, we can even FaceTime them, but it’s hard to roll around on your street at 2 am with your friend and a giant dead branch while belting out 80’s lyrics through the phone.
So take this weekend to get back to basics. Eat an ice cream cone on top of a picnic table, make out with someone cute in a tube slide, and blow bubbles out the passenger window. Draw a painting, play the recorder, and dance naked in the shower. It’s never too late to look up from your screen.