Old School

The other day I bought an address book. It’s a tiny one that fits in my handbag and has a few notes pages in the back for important dates.

The thing is, I kept losing all my contacts when updating my phone. And, it’s annoying to try to give someone contact information in a text or over the phone when that contact information is, well, on your phone. So now I can just pull out my little address book, and bam. Everything is right there.

I know what you’re thinking… what if I lose my antiquated little address book? Well, I’ve managed to keep a passport, a set of keys, and a gaggle of cats within my grasp for 15 years, so I think I can handle an address book.

This was the most recent in a string of attempts to return to less electronic, slightly less complicated ways of doing things. Technology is great (I mean, this is a BLOG after all…), but I’ve been craving an increasingly unplugged life.

Ultimately, I’m preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Wait, that’s silly and probably not going to happen.

But, the conspiracy theorist and X-Phile in me does, in fact, think that one day we all might wake up and find out the Internet blew up, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose my addresses over that.

Sundays now look like this
Sundays now look like this

So I bought an address book. I subscribed to the Sunday paper. I tried to get a landline, but then I found out that land lines are now just wireless cell phones you keep in the house. No really, I went to sign up for a dial tone and was asked how many minutes I wanted.

More importantly, I’m checking my phone less, I shut down my laptop for the weekend, and I’m interacting with my world and the people in it in richer, more authentic ways. It’s really weird to get together with someone you haven’t seen in a long time, because you’ve both been “too busy,” and yet this person can rattle off the last four exciting things you did because you put them on Facebook.

Technology is a convenience, but to assume it saves time is deluded. Call me crazy, but the intensity of my work ethic should not be defined by the number of emails I can churn through in a week. By limiting my exposure to all the devices that are supposed to be saving me time, I’m finding that I have a remarkable slop of mental and emotional energy that has previously been going to waste. I’ve always valued old things, but I’m seriously freaked out about losing things like newspapers and telephones and human interaction.

In light of this fear, I’ve put my money where my mouth is. So, go me.

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Lauren Warnecke is the dance critic at the Chicago Tribune and editor/senior writer at See Chicago Dance. Her writing has appeared in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Lauren is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago in the dance and exercise science programs. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME) and the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience (Durban, South Africa), and was part of the first low-res dance writing lab cohort at the National Center for Choreography in Akron, OH. Since 2009, Lauren has blogged about dance and performance in the American midwest at artintercepts.org.

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