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Unplug - Win back meaningful experiences

Posted on January 30 2017

Life is becoming busier everyday and everyone is in a rush to finish more work. Because of this rush, people are losing time, and in order to bring back time or buy more time, companies have offered products that give instant results. You have your fast food chains, microwave, microwavable food, cellphones, computers, music players and more. These products helped us “gain” more time but the negative effect is, we lost touch of experiencing the process. We press a button and suddenly coffee drips. We switch the timer and few seconds after we have dinner for the family. We click reply and in an instant we are in dialogue with someone from another part of the world. The results are instant but experiences are shallow.

This rush lifestyle that resulted to digital boom has created a vacuum in meaningful tactile experiences. We lost how it feels to cook. We lost how it feels to hold a vinyl. We lost how it feels to write a letter. This almost zero tactile experience made us miss the experience so we looked back and brought back the analog gadgets to life. Kodak films are now back, there is a growing number of people using fountain pen and vinyl has overtaken digital download sales. These comebacks are telling us something: we long for memorable experiences in a world of instant gratification.

To bring back the experience in the case of people who love to write, they simply unplugged and detached themselves from everything digital and brought out their pens and notebooks (the one made of paper), to again experience the feel of paper, the weight of the pen and watch the ink flow as the pen glides. Everyday I unplug for several minutes. I sit, open my journal, think of which pen to use or ink color to use, write and watch the ink flow and dry. Nothing can be more therapeutic than watching the ink dry. The only thing therapeutic with Microsoft Word is watching the cursor disappear and appear as you think what to type.   

Convenience is the enemy. Come to think of it, all the solutions to the fast paced lifestyle provide convenience. Convenience is good for a short period of time. More time being convenient means staying in the comfort zone longer and the longer we stay in the comfort zone means no development. Unplug and have a little discomfort, use hands to write, put the needle on the vinyl's grove and fill the pen with ink.

Life isn’t going to be less complex, the temptation to do more will remain, busy will still be glorified and we will still look for instant results that create superficial experiences. Balance rush by getting unplugged. Do something analog: write, draw, listen to vinyl records, or shoot using film. What’s your unplug?

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