“A New Update is Available”
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and software updates, and of these three, it’s the last that are maybe the most insidious. A new OS here, a new gaming system there: software updates, it seems, never ever end. New screens, new apps, new kicks that you can’t even wear IRL. Sure, it almost goes without saying that technological innovation can be a good thing.It took us to the moon. It brought us three life-saving vaccines. It gifted us Charlie Bit My Finger and, of course, its subsequent NFT. It gave us Theranos, billionaire vanity trips to space, the TikTok algorithm, and OnlyFans! See! Technology is a good thing, until it’s not.
Recently, we've found that sometimes we want to chuck our computer against a wall and communicate via messenger pigeon or stone tablets for a week. We live in a content-dense era where virality is driven by how much style-tips, dance moves, jokes, ASMR (the list goes on), can be jammed into a 6 second video. After a year glued to screens, I just want to pick up a magazine, struggle to create a perfect crease when turning the page in a newspaper, and listen to music on a walk-man. It seems like there’s a growing cohort of people looking to do the same: find a way to unplug from the relentless drive of modern tech, even if only for a few minutes.
With hyper-fast, content-dense tech filling our eyeballs every day, it's maybe no surprise that lower-tech trends are catching on. Let’s face it, the nature of tech today sometimes feels like the modern day equivalent of watching Charlie Chaplin in a factory, trying to keep up with a conveyor belt that’s accelerating at a rapid pace. It’s no surprise then, that people wait in line for a printed copy of The Drunken Canal that they won’t even get their hands on, why vinyl sales are soaring, brands are ditching grid posts for zines, “Bistro Vibes” are in and Gen Zers are clamoring for book recommendations on TikTok — excuse me, “BookTok.”