This summer, let’s not forget to live in the analog world!

This summer, let’s not forget to live in the analog world!
This summer, let’s not forget to live in the analog world!

With the holidays come outdoor outings. But always close to our cell phones, we run the risk of remaining caught up in our digital life. Let us rediscover the taste for the real, the physical and the sensitive.

While I was going to have my photo taken for my Canadian citizenship application in a store on Saint-Denis Street in Montreal, I was struck by the sight of the photographer’s counter. Right next to his crate was a pile of objects that seemed from another century: disposable Kodak cameras. This is a treasure from my childhood and perhaps from yours too: with a disposable, you only have one try to take a photo; and once the film is finished, you return it to the photographer who will print your photos.

The result is generally surprising and unprecedented: many photos will be incongruous, some will be botched. But what ultimately matters is how your prints capture the intensity of your memories and the unique mark of your gaze. Welcome back to the analog world!

In electronics, we differentiate analog from digital in that it corresponds to another way of storing information. To put it simply, while digital encodes all data starting from 0 and 1 (we speak of binary language), analog translates information in the form of a continuous signal (like an infinite series of numbers) . Very concretely, our analog camera uses a film with various chemical components to capture an infinite number of shades and lights. In contrast, our cell phone uses electronic sensors to convert the image into a multitude of digital data.

No need to develop film, my digital photo is available as soon as I take it. Practical, right? Well yes, but it’s also a way of distancing us from the real world.

Today, we often have the impression of no longer living an experience or an important step, if we do not give it a digital existence. In the evenings or on vacation, we feel more and more obliged to record the various elements of our lives, and sometimes to share them with friends, family or complete strangers, as if this gives them a greater degree of reality. Of course, we also take lots of digital photos to remember important moments in our lives. But do we really still have time to look at the 500 photos from our last family vacation? In truth, we wear our cell phone during our vacations, because this object is a way of connecting us to a digital life which has now become as full and meaningful as our real life.

I’m not here to judge you. Being a millennial, I am also a victim of this excessive attachment to my digital identity. But, unlike Generation Z, I also experienced another universe, little computerized and analog, in which sound, image and video were systematically linked to the physical world and materiality.

For the oldest among us, let’s remember this past time when it’s time to enjoy this well-deserved vacation. And for the youngest, leave your cell phone aside for a day. Grab a disposable camera and get started on snapshots. It is the moment to rediscover the impromptu, the error, the improvisation and the impossibility of any simultaneous edition or publication. These summer holidays will perhaps be the time to rediscover, finally, the taste of savoring the sensitive world in what it is most ephemeral, fragile and unique for us.

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