“Old school” is becoming cool again. Yes!
Let me be real here. I’m writing this on my new Mac after my husband forcibly removed my fingers from my old Toshiba three days ago and swiftly slid a new Apple keyboard beneath them. This new machine is like moving from an elderly Toyota to a Porsche, so damn smooth, easy, fast. (Did you notice how fast I wrote that?)
Sure, I have uses for “new school,” but then when I revert back to old-school, there’s something so delicious about it, the difference between Burger King and Milt’s, if you will. When I write in my journal, fingers gripping my favorite pen, hand pressed against the paper with its slightly woody scent, it’s such an O.S. pleasure. I’ve tried to journal on screen and well, even writing that phrase ‘journal on screen’ felt wrong.
Here’s the thing with old versus new school in our faster and faster little world: we’re losing touch, losing face (time with friends, plus any social skills we might have had), the ability to see something beautiful as opposed to selfifying, then “Proving We Were Here” via Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. It’s just not as much fun. I am suspicious of, and bored by, life-on-a-screen versus an actual one. Call me crazy. (Just don’t tweet it.)
Herewith a sort of primer or argument on new- versus old-school.
New: Buy a song from iTunes, maybe your favorite. Yep, you can hear it alright.
Old: Buy a record (like, a vinyl one) or CD (close second). Hear all sorts of notes and highs and lows you never suspected were there.
New: Do not answer your phone even if it’s ringing its little phone-head off in your hand. Wait for the text.
Old: Answer the phone. (It is your best friend calling.) Say “Hello,” which your friend will probably repeat back to you. Hear the smile or frown or tears in his/her voice. Amazing.
New: Continue to text a long, involved conversation, one you could have in a quarter of the time if you were speaking to the person, even if you are breaking up with him/her or asking him/her to run away to Kansas with you.
Old: Break off texting and OMG, call him/her. He/she may be shocked into picking up the phone. You’ll be able to hear the relief in his voice when you tell him you’re breaking up or the frown in hers when you suggest moving to Kansas.
New: Drive somewhere blindly trusting your GPS. Ignore any pesky road signs. This is especially fun in another country that’s not completely Google-mapped. Many people have arrived at many interesting places this way — like the driver of a large tractor-trailer who recently followed his GPS down the Shaefer Trail.
Old: The “navigator,” reads a paper map (available at some bookstores and gas stations) and tells the “driver” what interstate to look for, where to turn etc. Warning: Navigator may become drunk with power and refuse to surrender the map when the driver yells it’s his/her turn to navigate.
New: Show up with your date or family of five for a meal at a restaurant. Everyone with a cellphone, even the six-year-old. After ordering, ignore your date, mother, father, siblings (especially) to check for messages or send messages so you can get one back, being careful not to smear the screen with mustard, gravy, etc.
Old: Go to same restaurant. Leave cellphones in car. Yes! In car! Dates can hold hands and smile, talk, get a sense of whether any action is happening later. Family can occasionally look up from food, find out what’s going on with everybody and siblings can kick others under table.
New: Go to movie with date or family. Pick up popcorn, candy, etc. Watch movie or in case of very cute date, don’t.
Old: Go to movie as above. Pick up popcorn, candy, etc. Turn cell phone ringer off (sometimes) but make sure to leave screen so you can be “a light in the dark unto all of those around you” while they try to see the movie screen.
New: Launch a drone so you can see the view from the top of a mountain, or a cliff above the ocean.
Old: Climb to the top of the mountain and look down at the world spread out beneath you. Make your way up a cliff and look out over the ocean’s horizon. See the view. Really. See the view.
E. J. Gore is the author of “French Lessons, the Art of Living and Loving Well!” Available at Back of Beyond, Amazon and other independent bookstores.
“New: Launch a drone so you can see the view from the top of a mountain, or a cliff above the ocean. Old: Climb to the top of the mountain and look down at the world spread out beneath you. Make your way up a cliff and look out over the ocean’s horizon. See the view. Really. See the view.”