Rogue One on VHS: A taste of the perfect childhood

I am happy that I live in a digital, HD, Internet-infused world. 

I am also happy that I grew up in an analog, low-definition, Internet-absent world. 

I did not touch a computer or the Internet for the first 18 years of my life. After graduating from high school, I left home, moved in with a friend going to college to study computer programming, and became an instant early adopter of both personal computing and the first iterations of Internet: localized bulletin board systems (BBS). I played games, chatted with friends, and even wrote a blog online (though it wasn't called a blog back then) as early as 1989.

When I finally made it to college in 1994, I was often the only person in any of my classes who understood what the Internet was and how it could be used. I was using the Internet for research on a regular basis (Lycos and Alta-Vista, anyone?) while my classmates spent hours digging through the stacks in the library. 

But my childhood was blessedly analog, and I wish my children could experience the same simplicity and patience that the analog world required. My generation was the only one to grow up as children without the Internet but live all of our adult lives with the Internet.

I humbly suggest that this might be the best way to live. 

It's also why I love this Rogue One VHS recreation so much. The sound and look brings me instantly back to the days when media came in a physical form, you waited all year for the Peanuts Christmas special on television, and my mother would tell me to drink out of the hose when I wanted to come inside the house for water on a summer day.

Those were good days. 

You’ll be shocked to discover who favors old fashioned ink and paper over digital composition

I’ve been teaching writing to students ages 12-16 for the past three weeks. Seven students in all. Every one of them is an excellent writer. A couple are legitimately gifted.

Two surprises:

  1. Five of my students write with a paper and pen and couldn’t imagine writing on a computer or tablet, at least for their first draft. Only one writes exclusively on a laptop (and she writes primarily for the Internet), and the other switches between pen-and-paper and her phone.
  2. A different five read almost exclusively from old fashioned books. Paper and ink. One reads exclusively on a tablet. The last switches between formats.

I was stunned when I saw these teenagers scribbling in journals and flipping through through pages. It’s not what I expected.

A month ago, I was walking down a long line of people waiting to attend a Moth StorySLAM in NYC, and I was both surprised and pleased with the number of people standing in line, passing the time by reading ink and paper books.

Could this be a sign that people are seeking a greater balance between digital and analog?

I hope so.