Margit’s Note: The Analog Issue

“Why do you pet the glowing thing more than you pet me?” says my cat, as I swipe my iPhone. (Seriously, she tells me with her furrowed kitty brow.)

Earlier this month, on the National Day of Unplugging, I spent 5 whole minutes wondering if I could embark on a digital detox. Let me text this to you: “Nope.”  As last week’s New Yorker piece “The Pointlessness of Unplugging” argued, “Few who unplug really want to surrender their citizenship in the land of technology; they simply want to travel outside it on temporary visas.”

Because there is obvious benefit to our e-lives — from expedient access to data to the ability to order dinner without ever moving from this chair.

And as Gen-X era women, we find ourselves betwixt and between the analog and the digital: we took a typewriter to college and maybe ended it — or started our first job — with an email account. We mix and match our lives — post-it reminders mingle with our favorite To Do app (mine is the “almost analog” iPhone “notes”).

We try to be self-aware tech and gadget addicts and balance our digital desires with a little lo-fi love: a hand-written note from my nieces or nephew; the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street on a long-playing record (or two); the doodles my husband and I share on a paper napkin at dinner.

Some things are just better unplugged.

This week:

To paraphrase Arianna Huffington on The Daily Show last night, you can have an iPhone, just don’t cuddle with it at night. Oops.



p.s. A real question: Does anyone still use “Wite-Out”? Anyway.

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