Analog vs Digital
In the last week, I have had this conversation with more than a handful of people. Maybe its a theme but there is something to be said about the balance between analog and digital. In all transparency, every person I had this conversation with was over 40 so keep that in mind except for one. Regardless, what comes into question is what is the balance between digital and analog.
I spent some time speaking with a very successful guy who was involved in the Fashion industry, in the high end world. He was moaning about the demise of print. His point was that there wasn't a fashion designer he personally knew (Valentino, Donna Karan, and some younger designers that I can't recall their names) that didn't have a concept board filled with pull-outs from magazines, filled with photos, etc. and none of it came from the Internet. It all came from paper, not printed from the web. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about Jessica, my own daughter, who has taken pull outs from tons of magazines and covered her college dorm room with them. He went on to say that the Hermes piece that just came in his mailbox this week was so beautiful and that can never be replicated on the web. Perhaps but is it worth the cost? What is the balance? As a culture, we seem to be going through that shake out now. What will be left? Playing devil's advocate, I just said that people will change the way they create, he didn't buy that. He also was frustrated by his nieces and nephews lack of writing skills ( ages 11-23 ). So, let's ponder all of that.
Last night, I was talking to someone else about basically the same subject. My friend agreed that the writing piece of most kids has gone down the drain. I am not in that camp. My kids write really well and enjoy it. Is that the school system to blame or the parents who have not pushed their kids to write. I actually believe that kids are writing more than ever, perhaps in staccato but they do write to communicate. Maybe the people who
don't write well just becomes more apparent as more people are reading what they write. My friends daughter has not
even learned how to write in script and she is 13. Maybe that is ok, maybe it isn't. If anything this generations face to face communication skills have probably suffered. As kids spend more time texting, playing Farmville and keeping up on Facebook, are they still able to walk into a room of new people and have a conversation? Not so sure but on the other hand, that has always been a skill and perhaps the ability to use the computer as a medium to communicate has been helpful to those that have a tough time with the face to face. Not that reality is sitting inside a dark room being on the computer all day at least it shouldn't be.
Many people believe that there is something about getting a hand written card. I know that I make our kids write thank you notes, the old fashioned way, when they get a gift, even it is to a friend. Over the years, most of the notes from their friends come in email form with everyone on the same blast. There is something to be said for holding on to a few things from each generation. Landmarks wasn't established in cities across the world for nothing. What should the landmarks be in correspondence of this generation? My friend lamented that when she interviews someone and they actually take out the time to send a handwritten note, put it in an envelope, get a stamp, find a mailbox, etc. vs just shooting off an email, she remembers that.
Certainly I am a huge proponent of the Internet. It is our bread and butter but I do wonder what have we lost, what is fine to lose and what should be kept. Will my kids still send out wedding invitations on print paper, will they send out hand written cards to say thank you or create individualized ones through the web for each person. Time will tell but between the print world, the correspondence world, there is something to be said about the balance between analog and digital.