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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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The Hidden Cost of Convenience: The Power of Analog in a Digital Society

Clover Martin
Despite vinyl records and other analog media not being the most convenient medium to view art, it’s that effort that makes it all the more meaningful.

My weekly iPad screen time clocked in at 79 hours and 11 minutes on YouTube alone. With 168 hours in a week, that is 0.03% shy from declaring that I spent half of my week on a screen. 

The easy excuse that I clung to was that I wasn’t technically spending my time actively watching YouTube every second, it was just background noise — something to distract me while I eat dinner or lull me to sleep, and it was the easiest way possible to get that.

As technology continues to progress, the most marketable thing tech companies can hand us is convenience. And why shouldn’t we let them?

Why sift through a dusty old CD booklet of your dad’s college radio playlists when you could just boot up Spotify and stream them?

Why would you ever devote time to dig through the garage your dad has been trying to tidy up for months to find a record album your grandpa held on to, cherished, and took the time to save for his kid to listen to later?

In this digital age, the step-by-step processes get overlooked almost entirely in lieu of the easy, convenient product that lets you skip all the effort required to make meaning of something.

My grandpa had a massive record collection; my dad and I are still digging through it to this day. You can feel the nostalgia simmering off those records before you even glance at them. 

The dust and tiny scratches and dents from fumbling with the album cover too often are something I typically see on the vinyls my Dad buys, but I have never seen a single smudge on my Grandpa’s collection. 

Even though I never knew him, I know he cared about keeping those records in mint condition, and more than that, I know he really cared about his son keeping them that way. 

That is something a Spotify playlist or MP3 file could never even begin to communicate.

The more convenient option for everything will always be within arm’s reach, but without fail, the convenient option is always the less meaningful one. 

We’re all busy and we’re all stressed, but do a little experiment: next time you want to watch a TV show or listen to some music, instead of looking through all streaming services and subscriptions, search for a CD. Maybe even a record if you have a vinyl player, and instead of putting it on for background noise to keep your brain distracted, focus on it. Devote your attention to it. Let yourself connect to it, not separate you from your own thoughts.

Make meaning of it.

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