People going retro

Old-style cell phones vs smart phones

Typewriters (manual) and pen & paper, including fountain pens and real letters, paper notebooks and paper diaries

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

peoplegoingretroAll across the globe – almost – people are, apparently, going into reverse as far as the use of technology is concerned on many levels, especially in the so-called developed world.

Manual typewriters are rather “in” (again), especially with the hipsters and though not a hipster as such – more a Hippie – I am rather glad that I have held on tight to, and will be now tighter than ever, my old military Remington “Quiet-Riter”.

Old cell phone of the kind before “smart phones” are in high demand too and some of those go for as much as $1000 on the markets in Europe. Makes you wonder what will be next?

And I am glad, therefore, that I have still got one of those older NOKIA cell phones that still works, and for which I have even got a spare battery or two, even though it is already many years old. I am rather sad though that I tossed out some while back two NOKIA 3310 handsets that were still OK but were not on my current network. Oh well, such is life, I guess.

When it comes to writing instruments and the use of paper good pens, such as Parker, Shaeffer and Waterman, etc., the high end ones, are definitely in demand and in the fountain pen department we see a serious resurgence also and here especially with regards to refillable and vintage ones that are really in demand.

A return to the paper notebook of the Moleskine, Leuchtturn 1917 and others is also very much in evidence, as is the return to the paper desk- and pocket diary in favor over the electronic one.

In the main this shift, so to speak, is due, I believe, to the fact that the “always on always connected” is being recognized finally for what it is; unnecessary and also a distraction, and you are not more productive by being under this constant stress; the opposite rather.

While I have the old typewriter sort of as a “stand by” I am a lost faster in what I do using the PC and with writing for the Web the computer is needed, obviously, but notes and calendar are all done on paper and that with a pen, and a fountain pen even at times. Names and addresses and other details of contacts are held in an address book (paper) and on index cards, written with pen on paper, always available and not dependent on any power or Internet.

Not only in the aspects mentioned above people are seemingly going retro but also on other levels and in regards to other things.

Handmade goods are coming back in favor – and hopefully this is more than just a fad and fashion – be this treen goods, baskets or whatever, and it is also seen in other areas.

I believe that, aside from a few other aspects, such as fitness and cost, the reemergence and resurgence of cycling, including and especially for commuting to work and getting from A to B, at least within a certain range of miles, is also one of those “returns to retro”, and especially here the appearance of the single speed bicycle, in the fixed or freewheel version.

The latter is due to the fact, I am sure, that the bicycle with gears, especially with the dérailleur kind of gear shifts, are rather fragile and very difficult to maintain by the user if no access to special tools and equipment. This is the main reason why I, personally, have converted all my bicycles – yes, plural – to single speed, by simply removing the gear shifting “equipment” and setting the chain. I believe in the KISS system.

And, as far as I am concerned, and I am not alone in this, of that I am sure, the KISS system should apply for anything and everything. Oh, and KISS, for the uninitiated, stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. The simpler and easier the better. But industry seems to insist to make things more and more complicated because, so their excuse, people want such sophistication. Well, it would have nothing to do with the fact that they want to make and sell it, would it now?

© 2014