It’s funny how we can never predict how technology will change our lives. Like any good parent, and generations before me, I love to drone on to my children about how different life was before smartphones and the internet. But I also think it’s fascinating that old fashioned things are still present in our lives, from candles to snail-mail. We once thought that they’d be cast to the dust-bin of history, but they are stronger than ever. Here are some things that flourished in the face of technology:
- Who’d have thought that Kikki.K, Smiggle and Typo would be so huge? Who’d have thought that a generation of people would go back to a pen and notebook for keeping track of their lives, goals and calendars when they could do it all so easily on a smartphone? When it comes down to it, we still love to write things down. I use a combination of smartphone calendar and spiral-bound notebook for keeping track of the family life and it’s a great system.
- When the car was invented there was a prediction that the bicycle would become obsolete. Instead, thanks to the environmental benefits and ride-sharing concepts, bikes are stronger than ever.
- The letterbox. Did you once think that Hotmail would replace snail mail? The revolution of online shopping certainly gave Australia Post a boost, and I find it fascinating how lots of companies have gone away from emails and back to hard copy letters to avoid customers being tricked by phishing or scams. Also, there’s nothing better than getting a card in the mail.
- We went past a candle shop the other day and my mother said, “It’s amazing that people still buy candles!” It is, given we’ve got lots of no-mess, no-risk ways of lighting a room with electricity, but there’s nothing like a candle for a bit of ambience or aromatherapy. And they make such nice gifts. I received a beautiful one just last week that I’m going to put in my bathroom.
- Despite claims that we’d all be reading everything on tablets by now, some of us can’t go past the old-fashioned feel and look of a book with pages (guilty, Your Honour). I’m actually, again, a lover of both versions. Sometimes I need to see and hold a book and sometimes I’m grateful for the e-version. But you’ve got to admit, they’re still with us and they’re probably here to stay, at least in certain genres.