Lost bits in a digital life

We used to have vinyl.

It was phat, scratchy and there was the exquisite human part of involvement.
When you wanted to hear your favourite tunes it you needed a human to physically do some stuff, press a button and then it would work.
The most outstanding part was…. you new how exactly how it worked!
You didn’t have to guess you could see it working and best of all you could fix it if it went wrong. Try doing that with your ipod, iphone or ipad.

We used to listen to the radio.
It wasn’t a streamed satelite station from the other side of the country or the world. The station was local, manned by real people who were silly, clever and sometimes even funny. The news was centered on our local town and this made us feel pride in it. With local people running the show we felt clever, cool and knew a a lot of stuff was going on. We knew about local bands playing in our own town, the local artists and there was even occassional air play of these bands.

We used to take the time to talk.
We used to meet in person.
We simply agreed on a time and chose somewhere with a vibe of it’s own.
We agreed forward planned and met and we didn’t have to co-ordinate anything last minute or use a GPS to get us lost on the way to find the local venue.

We really had a simpler life.
Uncomplicated by the electronic gadgets that now dominate the landscape of our shops. Life was I believe more easily fullfilling and joyful.
Yes we always wanted better stuff but the competition wasn’t completely MIND BOGGLING! We didn’t need a technical expert just to explain the differences!
Generally it was very plain to see things came in woodgrain? black? or if you were really trendy…. silver?

A plus for the Digital age is I seem to communicate with friends online and with more frequency. I’ve always enjoyed chatting, but virtual isn’t nearly as good as the real thing.

I haven’t bought into the ipod, itunes, iphone, or the ipad.
I don’t own any of them.
I respect these devices as being “cool” fun bits of gear but I am not compelled to buy one.

I can’t help but feel in the streaming, disc-ing and digitalizing we’ve lost the ability to receive great benefits that we used to get for free. I don’t think we’ve willingly given this up but it is something we have lost none the less.

One that jumps out screaming and yelling at me is the A3 sized album Art which you got with the LP’s for free with almost every cool album. I used to like that as much as the album itself added value and evoked long standing ideas of what the music meant.

Someone….. probably a computer programmer developed a gaming machine and made it possible to play along with music but didn’t actually make it any easy to learn how to play a musical instrument?
I have to wonder why they did that?
Did they not want their users to leave the gaming environment and actually pickup a guitar?

The speed of communication these days I believe means that we are slowly losing the human factor in communication, so we are forever recreating the medium it now occurs within to attempt to make it quicker and more Human friendly?
I have grown up in the progression from Bulletin Boards, Internet Relay Chat, ICQ, FACEBOOK. Each of these I see as a digital stages of communication.

It seems to me there’s less and less human elements involved in the production of our ever increasing digital reality and I think that once digital technology starts to focus more on human involvement I’ll start taking more interest. It’s happening but REALLY slowly.


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