No time will ever be as hip as the past. No matter how many innovations to style, technology, and culture occur in our day and age, we'll always look back with a sense of nostalgia at those retro analog times.
If you have any doubts about this, take a look inside any urban apartment, where you're likely to find at least one vinyl record player, manual typewriter, Polaroid camera, or other piece of retro equipment on display. It's hard to tell if this is simply a trend, or a larger comment on our craving for analog equipment in this age of automated everything. But there's no doubt that the past has a unique allure, pulling us towards its quaint designs and funky idiosyncrasies.
In recent years, culture has embraced nostalgia by borrowing hair trends of the 50s, the DIY ethos of the 60s, the electronics of the 70s, and the fashion styles of the 80s. Retro barber shops offering straight-razor shaves with a side of Sinatra are popping up with increased frequency throughout America. Record Store Day has become a sacred holiday to vinyl collectors. Second-hand clothing shops, once the domain of the lower class and a few artsy outliers, are now patronized by everybody from suburban teenagers to high-tech employees.
It was only a matter of time before tech got in on the fun. Though it may seem like a contradiction, modern technology has found a successful union with analogue life, mostly by using smart technology to mimic what we loved about analogue equipment while still retaining its modern convenience and accessibility.
So if you, like many others, feel caught between the analog allure of retro equipment and the streamlined ease of modern technology, here's a glimpse at how apps can give you the best of both worlds.
Apps for Vinyl Lovers
Sure, there's still an appeal in scouring local record stores or placing ads in the back of local music weeklies. But millions of vinyl aficionados have eagerly flocked to sites like Discog, which is an online community for vinyl collectors to organize, list, buy, trade, and sell albums. Users can create want-lists, advertise the albums they're willing to part with, and keep an eye out for those rare sought-out albums so they can snatch them up before another collector comes along. These apps don't replace the sonic and analogue merits of vinyl records; rather, they provide a digital platform for music lovers to build their real-life collection, providing the best of both worlds.
Apps for Those Who Miss Bedside Manner
Gone are the days of the town doctor showing up to your door with a cheery disposition and medicine for whatever ails. Today, doctors visits are often impersonal affairs, full of germ-filled waiting rooms and rushed service. A new breed of house call app, however, is trying to mind the gap with online healthcare services that provide more attentive consultations. With these apps, you don't have to trudge your sick, weary self to a doctor's office and can get personal access to a licensed healthcare provider with time to ask all the questions you need and receive medical advice without having to leave home.
Apps for Typewriter Lovers
Many of today's writers love that clickety-clack sound of a manual typewriter dinging its way through a manuscript. What they don't love so much is having to unjam the keys, change the ink, or haul the thing around with them. To bridge this gap, specialty apps have been created that mimic the sound of a typewriter keyboard to give writers the robust, tactile feel of literally slamming their deepest thoughts onto a piece of paper, even if their words are going nowhere but a Word doc and Dropbox cloud.
Smartphone Apps: Where Retro Meets Modern
Whether you crave the simplicity and personal attention of older times, or are drawn to the quirky delights of analogue equipment, technology has rolled out apps to let you indulge in the pleasantries of the past with a modern assist. You can collect vinyl with the help of an online database, pretend to be Hemmingway with typewriter-mimicking word processors, or consult with a doctor from the comfort of your bed. Nostalgia will always dominate our minds and desires, but nowadays, you can integrate them into your modern life, bringing you the best of both worlds.