When my boss mentioned the possibility of me writing a technology piece for Apple Magazine, my initial response was to recoil. Me, write for a techie magazine – he should know better, that’s so funny, it’s so not me. Me, who likes to use a notebook and a well-worn stub of pencil. Me, who has a cherished fountain pen which I carry around with me always. Me, who never needs an excuse to buy another piece of stationery. Me, who unapologetically doesn’t use anything beginning with an ‘i’ (sorry Jony).
But here’s the thing, though I take a reasonably ‘simple’ approach to life; and I certainly don’t get caught up in a frenzy about whatever is the latest piece of technology, I still find technology has its uses. I certainly don’t make myself a martyr to ‘simpleness’ either. I have a wireless in my house, I’ve probably been prescribed that new fangled penicillin a time or two in my life; and not so long ago I moved into my first house with gas central heating – bliss. My last job would have been impossible without the advent of the pager (remember those?), Blackberry (remember those?) and a laptop (mine does a great impression of a sack of bricks).
If I were mayor for a day I certainly wouldn’t be turning off analogue radio anytime soon (there really, really are places you still can’t get a digital signal you know, and mobile reception is patchy at best – it’s true). You should see me at my mum’s house, doing the ‘reception’ dance, trying to get my phone to work while standing on my tip toes, waggling my phone around on an outstretched arm. Have you tried that one? It’s an all too familiar tale, I bet.
As you can imagine, I embrace vintage chic in my house, no charity shop or market stall goes unscrutinized for just the right hint of a bygone age. I have a great set of enamelled vintage scales in my kitchen; the only problem is every time I use a modern cookbook I have to do a quick bit of maths to turn the recipe back into imperial measurements. Which might be good ‘brain gym’ for me, but is probably not so good for my culinary efforts, and might explain why I stick to ‘cooking’ salads a lot.
Here’s where technology has its uses, I can easily find a measurement converter online or look for vintage inspiration for my home ‘googling’ ‘atomic patterns’ for example, and dozens of sources will be at my fingertips. But even better than this is the insight into a fleeting moment in time technology can give me like footage of Anna Pavlova performing, the early days of the railway or the building of the Empire State building. Technology: it’s not bad actually, sometimes it’s even helpful – it can be your window to the past. So embrace technology to step into a bygone age.