Saturday, July 20, 2024

Outdated technology can still serve purpose

We live in a time when things are constantly being created, recreated and made better. Most inventions from the past are usually forgotten about or discarded when a newer version is presented.
However, some items have the ability to stay relevant throughout decades and continue to hold value.

Like many other people, I’ve always been a fan of things from the past like movies, clothes and especially music. I enjoy the wave of nostalgia I feel when playing rock vinyls I found in my mother’s basement or cassettes in my car. The way music was experienced in the past always seemed important and better to me than any digital download I could find online today.

The recent revival of record players and vinyl has grasped the attention of young people and although many are quick to call someone a “hipster,” it’s more than a fleeting trend for many people, including myself.

Singer, songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff grew up digging through stacks of CDs and crates of vinyl and is now writing a book about the boom of CD sales and how music culture has changed since he was growing up in the early 1990s.

The book will “pay tribute to the cherished, and endangered, cultural institution,” according to Antonoff in a New York Times article.

I think Antonoff is stressing the importance of understanding that just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s useless.

“Whenever a new technology comes out, we often believe it will make an older technology obsolete,” according to a New York Time article.

The birth of something new doesn’t mean the death of what came before it. When eBooks were created, many thought paper books would become unwanted, but that has yet to happen. In fact, in 2015, the unit sales of print books rose 2.8 percent from the previous year, according to an article in Publishers Weekly.

The use of film is another example of an item that has transcended generations. Film cameras are extremely popular now and many professional photographers prefer film to digital camera quality. Polaroid cameras are also making a comeback because how instantly photographs are available.

These items were assumed to go out of style when the digital world took over, but they still exist, some just as sought after as before.

The past is the past, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be integrated into the present and be appreciated for what it is.

Having a taste for vinyl, tangible music items that can’t be downloaded or anything “outdated” doesn’t make someone a fool living in the past. I’ve had my record player for almost four years, and I’ve collected nearly 45 records along with about 25 CDs. I love these things because they make me feel connected to the past. I enjoy lying on my floor or bed with a record spinning and forgetting about the hectic, fast-paced world I live in.

Everyone has something that makes them feel happy and for so many people, music is the answer. Whether it’s streaming from an application, a CD, vinyl, cassette or mixed tape, it’s important and means something different to every person.

Email Laura Schmidt at

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