In a customer’s round last week, I found myself contemplating about the loss of my analog life. Especially my analog proficiencies.
I loved using my hands in the past, especially so for delicate tasks.
I’ve painted on T-shirts and bags.
I’ve written like a girl.
Today I no longer do any of these activities, and my handwriting resembles the handwriting of a doctor, instead of that of a girl-in-school-you-photocopy-notebooks-from. The last one is mainly due to the overuse of my personal laptop.
When I talk about it with others, they complain that they have forgotten how to read, that they are relying more and more on their mobile phones, and that their lives revolve around their digital (social) presence.
I think we’re getting to a point in time, when the last ditches of our analog proficiencies are being invaded by a new set of gadgets, threatening to conquer our delicate souls completely.
The ones I am talking about are the eBook, the tablet and the digital whiteboard.
The End of the Bookshelf
Books are fading away, being replaced by a slew of eBooks coming from a large (and growing) number of vendors. They come in different shapes and sizes. They connect to the internet, and can be used to read books, newspapers, blogs, presentations, documents – whatever.
Rands pointed this one out very well in his latest post, about him being a book stalker:
First, as a geek, I’m unable to sleep when I do not own the latest cool. The first Kindle’s industrial design was intriguing, but the second version nailed it. The second generation is a pleasure to hold and to read and I’m a fan of anything that gives me a reason to read more.
But here’s the contradiction:
My office bookshelf. Slightly in disarray, but a massive visual reminder of what I love about books… you hold them.
As an avid book reader myself, I am finding it pretty hard to adjust to the new world – the inability to hold a book and smell it, to OWN a book, to place it in my own bookshelf.
Taking the plunge and using an eBook will surely happen in the next couple of years. It will probably mark the end of my book reading days, replacing them with eBook reading (or skimming?).
The End of Notes Taking
When I started working at RADVISION, the first thing I was given – besides a place to sit – was a notebook. I got it before I got my computer (which arrived 2 days later).
For some arcane reason, people in my industry hold to the notebook, which can be regarded as a personal diary: a place to write meeting summaries and action items, in a way that will be forever documented and lost at the same time, on paper.
All around me I can see people go to meetings with their notebooks, jotting down on them and doing their daily work with this simple analog medium.
While I am not a fan of the notebook, it sure as hell beats notes taking on a laptop any way, and in too many ways for me to count.
But now, with the rumors around an Apple tablet and the ability to use some of those eBooks to sketch and take notes, the analog process of writing is going to be diminished even further, replaced by digital writing or at least typing.
The End of the Analog Brainstorming
I think the real last ditch we have is the whiteboard. Yes, I am talking about that never-white surface found in most meeting rooms, alongside one marker (not working very well) and missing an eraser.
In RADVISION you can find them in virtually each and every room. I actually sit in a room with 3 of those whiteboards, where one of them is replaced on a yearly basis with a clean(er) version of it.
For a few years now there is a replacement for the whiteboard – a digital whiteboard. This solution is increasing its market size on a yearly basis. I can definitely see all whiteboards turning digital in a few years time.
A homemade digital whiteboard in action
The End. Of my Analog Life
So does this mark the end of our analog life?
Do we really need all those delicate finger-using habits or will we simply be relying on our ability to type instead?