Old technologies are irreplaceable

Most teenagers crave play stations, laptops or the newest iPhone, but for my thirteenth birthday, all I wanted was a typewriter. A lot of people may think it’s silly to have something so old. After all, there’s nothing an old typewriter can do that a computer can’t, and the machine is bigger, heavier, louder and harder to use. Yet there’s a certain sense of serenity that comes from using older instruments that is simply irreplaceable.

Almost all new technologies are multipurpose; iPhones can text, call, take pictures and so much more with apps at everyone’s fingertips, literally. Computers have access to Google searches, Google Docs and email. Some people may think of this as being useful and convenient, and I do admit that there are certain things only available on modern technologies that have made life easier. But there is something unique in the fact that older technologies have simply one purpose-  record players play records, typewriters write on a page, and that’s the beauty of them.

How many times have you logged onto a computer to do homework or complete a creative task, only to become distracted and end up doing something entirely different? How often do you end up scrolling through Instagram or looking at Pinterest instead? I find it refreshing to be able to sit down at my desk with my typewriter without any distractions and to just write.

Along with a single purpose to keep you on track, old technologies take more technique and effort to use, making the product even more worth it. While it’s certainly easy to log onto Spotify and have any and every song you can think of readily available, there’s an entire process to buying and playing a record. 

My sister bought a record player and began collecting records when she was in high school, and both of my parents have kept their own records from when they were young. I’ve grown up with scratchy and vintage sounding music, and have always had a great respect for the old technology. Records are delicate, with beautiful texture and black shiny surfaces. Pulling out a record and placing the needle of a player onto it is a lot harder then pressing your fingertips against a flat screen, but the motions make it much more fun and interesting.

Keeping and using old technologies is also a constant reminder of the past, how the music and writing industries have grown and how much easier it is for our generation today because of that growth. To truly appreciate the present, it’s important to understand and appreciate the past.

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