Revenge of Analog

I’m a friend of a musician who loves listening to vinyl records. He has a sweet setup in his living room that includes a 1970’s turntable and big speaker boxes that he bought at an estate sale. In addition to his growing records collection, he also buys and uses old film cameras. He recently traveled to Europe and shot black and white photos of his trip on rolls of film. 

We have ongoing conversations about the revival of analog. He wants me to get my own turntable so I too can enjoy the rich, authentic sounds of vinyl records. He tells me that film is very much available for old cameras and that they make more beautiful pictures than the iPhone. 

In The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, journalist and author David Sax describes a growing market for real, tangible things – vinyl records, print books, notebooks and the like.  He writes:

Surrounded by digital, we now crave experiences that are more tactile and human-centric. We want to interact with goods and services with all our senses, and many of us are willing to pay a premium to do so, even if it is more cumbersome and costly than its digital equivalent. 

My vinyl-records-collector friend and I had analog childhoods in which digital was uncommon and less of an option. As Mr. Sax argues, however, the revenge of analog does not just stem from nostalgia or hipster fad, but also from every human being’s emotional connections with tangible things and the social interactions we get in sharing them. 

I have been tempted to get a turntable and begin collecting vinyl records. I have yet to do so because I don’t want the clutter this will bring or give up the physical space this will require.  So I stick with digital for entertainment purposes, e.g.,  music streaming apps, Kindle ebooks, and digital photos taken with my iPhone (although I do print some to put in family photo albums and in picture frames around my home and office). 

For personal productivity – such as planning my day, setting goals, staying on task, and keeping focused on my highest priorities – I go with analog. I find that putting pen to paper is the most effective personal productivity system and that no digital app can fully replace the analog method.

To learn more, read my latest article, Why Analog Beats Digital for Focusing Your Mind and Getting in the Zone. 

As the year comes to a close and we prepare to enter 2019, I  encourage you to think about how you can embrace more analog and resist more digital. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and it’s up to you to create the ideal mix for yourself. 

May you set your daily intentions and create a fulfilling year ahead, 

Dyan Williams
Productivity & Purpose Coach