Whenever TV shows, movies, books, and so forth predict the future, they seem to assume either a continued advancement in technology, or a return to the Stone Age thanks to some dystopian disaster. But I wonder if there’s another possibility.
Some months ago, my kids were watching a show on Disney, and in this show some teenagers were in a record shop. By “record shop,” I mean quite literally a record shop. It sold vinyl records. I asked if the show was set in the seventies or eighties. My older children said no–it was set in present day. I was confused. Perhaps the producers, probably people of my generation, were being nostalgic for their teenage years, and used an environment that would have been familiar to them, but not to the teens in the show. Not so, according to my kids. It seems vinyl is making a come-back. They tell me there really are places that sell vinyl, and they’re quite popular with the kids. Regardless of how accurate this is (the comments are open if you want to confirm or deny), it got me thinking…
What if the future wasn’t either a Jetsons-like technological paradise, or a Hunger Games nightmare, but rather a conscious return to the “good old days”? Perhaps at some point in the future, technology will reach a tipping point. Maybe there will come a time when our culture gets sick from overdosing on digital and longs for the days of personal contact, music on vinyl, and writing letters. Facebook, Nooks, and iTunes will be shunned in favor of evenings spent visiting friends, or curled up in a chair with a paper book, or listening to 45s on the record player. The museum of the future might hold such relics as iPads and Kindles, reminders of a time when information was at our fingertips, but we forgot how to stop and smell the ink.
This isn’t a critique of our current culture. I have nothing against technology. It’s just an interesting spin on what the future may have in store. Food for a novel, perhaps?
I shared this with my wife, and she asked if I was turning into Nosferacolu–a mix between my name and Nosferatu. (I’m sure she meant Nostradamus, the famous prognosticator, and not Nosferatu the infamous vampire, but I’m not correcting the name to Nostradacolu because that doesn’t sound nearly as good.) But I’m not a prophet, or the son of a prophet, and this blog is not for profit (har har). Just throwing out an interesting thought.
What do you think?