Nowadays, we can find absolutely everything on the internet (hence, the fast growing network of blogs), but I’m realizing lately how much joy I find in bringing it back old school.
Grabbing a novel off the bookshelf, sitting in a cozy chair, and flipping through its crisp word-filled pages, marking the spot you left off and watching the progress you made that day. This experience can never be replaced by the newer engineering of reading.
Yes, yes, the convenience tablets and kindles have provided us will never go unnoticed, but what will come of their ancestors? This isn’t a new thought; I know that everyone still owns books and reads books, but I guess today my mind rests on the romance of the elder ways.
While at a coffee shop the other day, I noticed a stack of communal newspapers. As I picked up my drink, I spotted the Sunday Comics, tucked between the New York Times and Local News – I hadn't read those things in years! They used to be a favorite of mine when I'd visit Grandma. She loved showing me the colorful drawings and smirking at the quick wit of the authors. I just couldn't refrain from grabbing the page and sitting down for a moment to reminisce.
I read every single square, laughing out loud and drawing far too much attention to myself. The simple act of slowing down and reading a page out of the newspaper had brightened my day excessively. It felt like catching up with an old friend I hadn't seen in a while. I wondered how many brilliant prints I had missed over the years.
I snuck the page home with me (although a sign next to the stack said please return). I couldn't resist; I felt I needed it as token of change, a reminder to slow down, unplug, and be mindful of what things used to be like. I'm too easily influenced by the up-and-coming. (Aren't we all?) I forget how much I love tradition. Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of Google, Instagram, Netflix, and, of course, the wonder of free wifi everywhere I go. Nevertheless, when you pretend for a minute that these things don't exist, or maybe less drastic, that these things were out of reach, how much more wonderful a book would be, the weekly newspaper, printed images hung up on your walls, the deck of cards in your sock drawer.
I always laugh a little when people say, "But what if all the computers crash one day? What will be left of us? What will be the history we leave behind?". I guess it makes sense though. I don't believe print will ever be lost (well, I hope not), but I do believe the fascination with it is vanishing. It's not technology that needs to slow down, but us.
So, slow down today, and be fascinated with not only the new (which is indeed a perplexing phenomenon), but the old as well (something that can be traced back all the way to the Renaissance). We will continue to move forward, but it's a wonderful thing to still be connected to the past.
Print one of your Instagrams and pin it to your wall (I'm not talking about Pinterest – a real wall), find your favorite book from high school and check it out from the library, head over to your local coffee shop and sneak a newspaper, play a board game instead of watching a movie tonight – there's something magical about these experiences. I promise they will make your day feel more full and bright.
Our world is on a fast-track but I think it's time to decelerate and enjoy the ride.