Teenagers cling on to the simpler technology of the past
By McDaniel Hartranft
It’s the whirling noise and the anticipation that follows when waiting for a memory to be printed just seconds after it happens. It’s the sound of a needle scratching against a record just as the roar of music makes its way out into the air. It’s the sound of the clunky keys clicking and clacking creating something beautifully imperfect. It’s the idea that despite living in a generation where technology keeps becoming more and more advanced, teenagers of the 21st century have clung onto the nostalgia of simpler gadgets.
The selfie generation of today was created by the easy accessibility of digital cameras. But before that, in 1972 Polaroid introduced the first fully-automatic and motorized camera with instant color prints. The Polaroid camera never disappeared, but the popularity of digital cameras left 21st century kids lacking familiarity with instant printing cameras. Polaroid released the Polaroid 300 instant camera, which is a modern day spin on the classic 70’s Polaroid. Junior Ellie Auch bought her camera on Amazon after she noticed her friend had one.
“My friend had one and I thought it was really cool for a long time,” Auch said. “Then they came out with a new version of it and so I was like why not.”
The return of the record player has also been significant. According to a NewsWeek article, 2014 record sales grew by more than 50 percent to hit more than a million, the highest since 1996—and the upward curve has continued in 2015.
Junior Claire Mitchell received her record player as a gift after wanting one for a while. Purchased at Urban Outfitters, it filled her interest in music and her want to start collecting records. She finds that when living in a generation where everything is portable; it’s hard to use it as much as her phone.
“I have more songs on my phone than my record player, so I use my record player when I want to listen to a specific song I have on a record and if I want better sound quality, but my phone is usually more convenient.”
Junior Parker Rapp has owned a record player his entire life and uses it 3-4 times a week.
“I have two they are my parents from when they were in college.” Rapp said. “I like having one because I like the experience of having the music physically and collecting vinyls from bands and getting rare disks.” Rapp said. “I think our generation brought it [record player use] back just because more bands are releasing colorful vinyls and new vinyl technology is being produced.”
In different ways, the typewriter has made a comeback. In its former first manufactured glory, the typewriter was a 15-pound writing machine. But now, a 21st century spin has been put on it. Jack Zylkin, founder of the company USB Typewriter, converts the typical typewriter to hook up to a computer monitor, ipad and tablets.
“We have rescued these antique typewriters from dusty attics to give them new lives in the digital age, by transforming them into computer keyboards and tablet docks,” Zylkin said.
There will always be someone taking technology from the past and vamping with a modern day twist. According to Tom Hanks’ article in The New York Times he talks about the longevity of old technology.
“Even some typewriters made as late as the 1970s can be passed on to your grandkids or encased in the garage until the next millennium, when an archaeologist could dig them up, hose them down and dip them in oil. A ribbon can be re-inked in the year 3013 and a typed letter could be sent off that very day, provided the typewriter hasn’t outlived the production of paper.”