Tag Archives: digital life

Life is not digital; we need a balance with our natural ‘analogue’ life

I am starting to think of life in this way. We spend so much of our professional lives ‘connected’ to one or more digital devices, it is increasingly important to ensure that we have ‘analogue’ time. That is, unconnected. Real footprints, not digital footprints. Conversing face-to-face, eating, playing, kissing, hugging, loving…and all the things we do which are not connected to something that has no soul. A walk through a wood in the autumn (Fall) awakens all the senses – few of our senses are used when connected to the digital world via a computer or device.

There is no question that the digital world is a large part of our future. But the ‘analogue’ world of our past has a vital role to play in our future too. Children must not be left to ‘their own devices’ as quite literally that is what they will all too often revert to – their digital devices. Games consoles, phones, laptops, and other ‘gadgets’. But, are we as adults so much better? What are we losing from the pre-digital days? This blog will take a personal view, that we are in danger of losing so much from the ‘old fashioned’ world before computers and connectivity – but that we are not realising and taking action as individuals and as a society.

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Digital (at-work) vs. Analogue (off-work); balance?

It is ‘half-term’ again here in Cambridgeshire, UK. The children are off school for a week. My wife works in schools, so she is also off for the week. The snow is still on the ground, but it has started to turn to ‘slush’ – its cold and dank outside.

Why is that relevant? Because (a) you may well be ‘enjoying’ the same week, and (b) it makes me think about a “digital versus analogue” life….a choice that my children do not really understand. We have four children, aged 14 down to 9 years, and clearly they have all grown up in the ‘digital world’. Two have a good balance between ‘digital and analogue’…the other two, frankly, do not – it’s a struggle to get them off their various devices. Does that matter?

As a parent, and more generally as a member of society I grew up on the ‘cusp’ of computers in daily life (yes, we had the ZX Spectrum, then in the year that I left, our school received its first batch of PC’s – the BBC Model B with its 64k RAM….BASIC was the language…..and basic it certainly was!!) This means that I remember most of my childhood in Analogue-only. And great it was. We lived on/off our bicycles, going off to find new places – country lanes, rivers, hills and woods. Or playing football for hours until it got dark, “jumpers for goalposts”, before football lost its soul. But, it was all good, clean, and above all health fun – in body of course, getting some exercise – but I would say also in mind. I still go for a long walk with my dogs to ‘clear my mind’ or just to get fresh air. Does it matter that people do not do this so much today?

There is no doubt that our digital world has enriched our lives. It has enriched my life hugely. I have met people whom I would otherwise have never met (mostly on Linkedin), shared discussions with them on Groups, and some I have been able to meet, especially through CoreNet Summits.  I also benefit from being able to enjoy my analogue life, BECAUSE we can work from home using digital technologies.

Should we enforce some ‘analogue’ living though? We have no computers in bedrooms for a start, so they have to get out of that darkened pit of stuff-everywhere that is a teenage bedroom! But more generally in life, what is good for your kids is probably also good for all of us in adult life? To get out and have an analogue life – achieve a balance between digital (at work) and analogue (off-work)….?

I don’t have the answers, but I have collected up the devices, into my study…and kicked the kids out to play like we used to do! Two have gone gladly, one reluctantly, and one is still thinking….but he is 14, and so “you can’t tell me what to do”…even if it IS for the greater good!

Do you have a healthy digital vs analogue balance? If so, how? If not, does it matter? Interested to know…..

Take Care,

Paul  http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulcarder ; paul.carder@occupiersjournal.com

St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, UK