Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why "Analogue"?

First, I will say that I don’t want to give the idea I’m advocating for living a totally analog life, which should be obvious considering I have just started a new blog.

I don’t dislike technology or digital tools; I use them all the time, and I’m glad to have them. Instagram calls my name just as loudly as it calls anyone’s, and sometimes I spend too much time there. There is plenty of fantastic information and inspiration online, and I benefit from it all the time.

So naming this blog “Analogue” is definitely not about me trying to tell anyone else how, or how much, they should use digital devices. I’m not watching or judging. I am simply giving a shout-out to a lifestyle that connects people to the real world—to physical things, actual people, and real places.

Many younger people have consciously reverted to using analog tools and ways. They have chosen to play actual board games, listen to LPs on a turntable, read real books with paper pages, write in paper planners instead of using the smartphone calendar, wake up to the ring of an actual ticking alarm clock, hand-grind their morning coffee, take photos with film cameras, and more. Some have even gone so far as to ditch smartphones and hook up to an old-fashioned landline.

People are parking their cell phones at the door when they gather with others for food and conversation. Camping, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and all sorts of outdoor adventures have skyrocketed in popularity. There is a growing world of creatives—makers and artists and artisans—who fully embrace working (sometimes painstakingly) by hand rather than producing digital or mechanized work. People increasingly embrace “small and local” over industry-produced because it offers better quality and a relationship with the producer.

Some of this analog living is merely trendy, but I believe it is also because of a fundamental need people feel to connect to real things in the physical world.

I think that Ann Morrow Lindbergh was onto something when she said (way back before computers and smartphones existed): “Mechanically we have gained, in the last generation, but spiritually we have, I think, unwittingly lost.”

I don’t want to imply that living an analogue life is a more Biblical life. That’s silly. But I do think that we do well when we stay connected to real things and real, physically present, people in the real world. God created a physical world that we should experience with all of our senses. I think we thrive when we live in it, fully present.


  1. This is one of the (many) good things I glean from your writing. A reminder to be fully present in my life. I can so easily get caught up in the world of Facebook etc... and as you said, nothing wrong with that, until I feel out of sorts, but can't figure out why. That's when I need to remember to pull away for a bit, and go outside or connect with my family or friends in the physical world. And there is just something about paper. The feel, the smell, especially in an old book. :)

  2. So good, Michele! Online stuff affects us so subtly. It takes both wisdom and strength to realize when it does affect us and then to move away from it toward the things that matter most in our lives--people. And yes to the old books! (I've been going to Powell's alllll the time since coming up to Portland this summer. I can hang out there for hours!) Thanks for sharing.