I know I write by the pile-full on how technology is getting out of hand (did anyone say robot apocalypse?), but let it be known that I love me a warm MacBook Air in the morning. No matter how much I rant otherwise, it’s probably the case that people won’t allow themselves to become totally, irrevocably tied to everything digital. Why, I’m able to stay away from my MacBook Air almost 20 minutes a day! Being part of this modern world means being able to use new technologies, no matter how emojis might send hot rage up your spinal column.
However, there are things in life that you should never stop doing, especially now that computers, phones and watches, actual robots, etc. can accomplish pretty much everything (especially all those things you never knew you had to do, like Twitter!).
This is an obvious activity to either keep in or add to your everyday existence. Emails, no matter how much they may seem like legit correspondences, still mean so much less than words written on a sheet of loose leaf. And text messages are lazy excuses for actually knowing your language’s grammar. Putting a pen or pencil to page means you have something real to say, and not just the Internet’s sorry excuse for canned laughter.
Using your phone as a phone
Remember when that lil’ brick in your pocket only contained someone else’s voice? Wasn’t that special? It was just like being in the same room as someone!
Being romantic and risky
Sheepishly asking someone out then bringing said individual on an awkward date has gone the way of letters and long phone calls. Now that you can date over the Internet and text someone to tell them, “It’s not you, it’s me [sad emoticon],” folks just don’t want to expend the energy (or summon up the balls) to be what’s now deemed super creepy and just starting up a conversation. Experiment: go to a bar with no smartphone and walk up to people at random. I promise this will work.
I have a colleague whose favorite thing is constructing stuff out of other stuff (dude would be invincible in a zombie apocalypse). You don’t have to go build an entire house out of balsa wood and whale bones, but recall how much fun it is to even just build a fire or a birdhouse (to light on fire). Nothing a 3D printer can make will ever be as personal as that itchy scarf your grandma swears is not taking years off her life, or that triple stage rocket that will definitely work despite not following instructions.
Going on adventures
This coincides a bit with building fires. How long has it been since you decided to get in the car and go somewhere awesome, or nowhere at all? Or sod the car, hop on a train, and just ride till you seen some environs worth your time. I remember that, as a child, my fellow adventurers and I would get on our wheeled apparatus and find some woods. You’d be surprised how liberating it is to leave work stuff, technology and Tinder at home and wander around a totally alien place without connections to the rest of the non-adventuring world.
Listening to music as its own activity
Remember when you’d buy that new LP and rock out in your basement? Neither do I. Many believe music has entered into a veritable age of horridness, but I don’t know if that’s only the industry’s fault (if it’s true at all). Music nowadays is used as dressing on the salad that is a long commute, reading Buzzfeed, or doing other mindless activities. An album used to be a good hour out of your day that belonged just to the music. Bring back music as focal activity, like listening to Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick without distracting yourself with anything else, and maybe the quality of music in general will slowly increase.
Basically, never lose sight of activities that you did before this current wave of technology. Sure, many processes are expedited, but it doesn’t mean that your communication or creative output are any better. Write stuff on paper, and it’ll be that much better. Leave the virtual world for a weekend and see if you can remember how to make a bonfire happen. An iPad can’t make smores… yet.