This Analog(ue) Life

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As you can see, my typewriter skills are limited. Hopefully, in time, that will improve.

So, what is this all about?

I recently did a lot of overtime, in fact it has been going on for a year now, and I have reached a point of being tired. I am avoiding the phrase “burnt out”, but it isn’t far off.

The worst thing is my eyes, I get crazy headaches and eye aches from looking at screens all day long. If not the computer, than my smart phone or the telly or a digital watch, clock, thermometer and on and on and on.

I am feeling a little teched-out!

The plan is to ditch as much tech as possible without compromising on my quality of life, or without becoming an ecological nightmare. In fact, I hope I can re-balance my carbon footprint at a lower level and vastly improve how I spend my time.

More time learning Spanish and a musical instrument, writing that yet to materialize novel, to walk more, to remember to enjoy the sights and sounds experienced on a walk, to get off my ass and go for a walk without Pokémon Go being the inspiration to do so.

We, my civil partner and I, have really improved our diet, overall health and relationships. With the rest of my life now functioning the best it has for years, it seems that my reliance on technology is a big negative.

So, what am I ditching?

I do not own a car, so that’s one thing I needn’t discuss here.

I am giving up WiFi, and internet for anything other than work and access to TV & radio – most of these are now digital, and I would like to have the BBC. *So British, I know.

I am giving up my smart phone, my Bluetooth devices, my digital camera, my fitness tracker, my digital watch and just about everything I can avoid with a digital display or screen. Family and friends will have to get used to calling me or sending me text messages again. With the exception of family in the UK, I will sneak onto my computer for video chats.

Some things cannot be avoided, I simply cannot afford (nor have permission) to ditch the electric hob and wouldn’t want to rip out the central heating controller or boiler – fortunately I can ignore these last two for another 5 or 6 months. Same is true for the front door-videophone. Is that what it’s called?!

No more games consoles, wireless charging, smart speaker, software or apps for personal use, dishwasher, online banking or cash machines, digital weighing scales or kettle.

I am choosing to continue using the scanner, for my typed pages, but not the printer. I will also continue using my modern TV, but will ditch Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video and will limit myself to BBC 1. Yup, just one channel.

You might notice that I am aiming for a level of technology as close to 1960s standard as possible. Luckily that means I get to keep my electric toothbrush, washing machine and tumble dryer. And a few other mod cons, especially the iron. I am pretty sure our inherited vacuum cleaner is from the 60s, possibly even the 50s.

I expect that my TV viewing will be significantly reduced and am convincing myself this with the lack of a smart phone and video games will balance out the need to use more paper, etc, with a reduction in electricity I consume.

I am choosing to ignore the history of remote controllers for the moment.

I will choose to ignore LED lights, they did have lights in the 60s, and other minor innovations on older tech that are hopefully better for me and the planet.

What am I adopting?

I will finally get round to using my snazzy typewriter, freshly restored from the…, that’s right, the 60s! I will have to use notebooks, pens, paper, ink, calendars, an address book, cash, analogue clocks, board games, physical books, wired peripherals and cables, a traditional watch, 35mm film camera, mechanical devices, retro gizmos and maybe more yet unrealized things.

I will use some relatively newer technology, with my 1990s Nokia. This will be my only digital device outside of working hours, and when not watching the BBC.

I’ve searched everywhere for an actual physical newspaper subscription, home delivery needed in this remote corner of Catalonia. The only one I could find was the New York Times. So I guess I am also dropping the Guardian [website] too.

Longer term I am hoping to get myself a record player and start an LP collection, but that will certainly be at a future date.

As much as possible, I will upcycle, recycle, use 2nd hand and increase our own self-sufficiency by growing some fruits and vegetables. This however won’t be the focus of the experiment and is just another way for me to balance out the guilt of using more materials in pursuit of an analogue lifestyle.

I’m even recycling this website, having never really done anything with the blog. The old me thinks keeping the Instagram account of the same name is a good idea too, to share photos from my 35mm camera. Maybe though, that is a distraction and an excuse not to write, I am good at those. Let’s see.

Well, as you may guess this isn’t entirely a new thing for me. However, I have never done it all together before, or have done similar things with the aim of being greener or to save money.

Let’s see how this new retro life goes.

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