Be still my analogue heart!

My godmother was in hospital a few years ago having her right knee reconstructed. On operation day, the surgeon came in and carefully marked her leg with a black texta before she was wheeled into the theatre. He wanted to ensure there was no mistake about which knee was due for operation! Isn’t it funny? Despite all our advancements in technology and medicine, this simple step with the most basic of tools is still crucial to preventing error.

Just last week Telstra, Australia’s largest telco, blamed a massive national outage on an embarrassing human error. One single technician made a mistake which prevented about 1.5 million people from making calls and going online! Hats off to Telstra for acknowledging what happened though. Social media of course went ballistic, with one tweet commenting, ‘You should be ashamed of yourself making those poor kids talk face to face and not be able to go on social media!’

This got me thinking. Where else in life is the ‘analogue’ version of technology — like talking face to face, and the texta on my godmother’s knee — actually a good thing?

I personally derive great satisfaction from handwriting my to-do list most days, and then ticking stuff off as I go. I’ve tried various electronic equivalents, but found none more satisfying than real life paper and pen! I also love a whiteboard, incidentally.

It really is food for thought. Before we jump onto the new, it’s good to remember that the old way might sometimes still be the best way.

So please tell me: where do you prefer to use ‘analogue’ approaches? I’d love to learn which tried and true methods work for you.

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  • Lou Pardi

    Great post – I recently received the best hug from a friend. He bundled me up in his arms and explained how great it was for him to receive a birthday card in the post from me. He said that it was surprising because he sees me as very digitally savvy and an online type, and so many people send Facebook messages or texts on birthdays – so an analogue card in advance seems like a fantastic treat now. Thank-you notes, letters to loved ones and photograph albums also evoke more emotion I think than their digital counterparts.

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