Chris Hannah


Celebrating Offline Tech #

Maybe it’s just because my own opinions have been changing recently, but I get the feeling that there seems to be a general resurgence of analogue over digital. Film photography is having a moment, so are mechanical watches it seems, and the act of writing in a physical notebook also seems to be growing in recent years. That’s in no way a definitive list, but it’s just a few things I’ve noticed.

This may sound weird, but it feels to me like it’s in some way related to the current period of nostalgia that we seem to be going through as a society. In a lot of ways, it’s like people are trying to bring back the 90s1.

Technology is always going to be massively affected by feelings of nostalgia, simply because of the rate of change that it goes through. However, while there has always been the divide between analogue and digital, there now seems to be a new divide2 in digital technology, offline vs online.

Matt Birchler wrote about this when talking about using 100% offline technology:

There’s no WiFi or Bluetooth, so it’s just out here on its own. It never has updates to install, so it’s never going to get better, but it’s also not going to change in ways I don’t like. It’s also going to work just as well in 20 years as it does today.

As he mentions in his post, while completely offline technology won’t improve, it also won’t get any worse. Which definitely happens to more recently technology that requires a connection to the internet.

I don’t think we’re at some major turning point in society where we’re all going to start writing in paper notebooks, switching to a dumb phone, etc. But it’s worth at least noticing the new era of always needing to be connected3. And at the same time, celebrating the good sides of having technology that can exist on its own, in the same state, for as long as the hardware still works correctly.

Written: In my dimly lit living room, listening to music from Isenseven videos.

  1. I’m not complaining, the 90’s were pretty good. ↩︎

  2. Great song. ↩︎

  3. Both products and people. ↩︎