OLD HABITS SHOULD NOT BE KILLED BY MODERN TIMES

 Times are changing too fast in some ways. Technologies are improving our life quality, but at the same time, we have such a crush on them, traditional habits are dying on behalf of massive consumption and super fast and quick communication. This is sad sometimes, and although I do complain about them, I’m the first one who’s given up some activities radically.

I’ve never written a diary properly. At 10-11 I started one, and didn’t even complete it. My life was boring, and hadn’t anything interesting worth telling but arguments with people surrounding me… I had only interests in reading and listening to music, and at that time I was quite inward-looking, used to hate going out (unbelievable!), and preferred to spend time in my room on my own. A diary didn’t make any sense.

Early this year, as many things were happening and there were so many changes I tried to start writing one. Mistake! I had a little bad obsession with a friend of mine and ended up writing about frustrations there. No need to do that. And it was at that point when I decided to focus on this madness, Since My Baby Left Me. Gotta say I’m having a good time and I feel really fulfilled by doing this, overcoming my laziness and being constant with updates. I like it, it’s not like a diary, but somehow it’s a good hint of what’s going on… and sometimes I might have something interesting to say.

The replacement of hand written letters for mails, is one of the things I regret most. I haven’t much patience when typing mails. I usually use e-mails for requests, informing or quick hellos. I’ve put so much of my life in written words throughout the years, if I managed to compile the hundreds, if not thousand letter I’ve written at different stages, I’d have the closest to a diary, and believe me, it’d be worth reading, specially my London era, because so many things happened there, you’d have a good laugh (I’m laughing when remembering some memorable moments).

Now all that magic has gone. We receive so much information and spam, plus depending on a computer for most of things, including work, I don’t feel like spending the same hours I used to when properly writing, into typing a mail. In terms of staying in touch, advances have been positive, you can stay in touch thanks to social networks, and chats, more immediate, friendlier and attractive than mails.

Still, I miss all the ritual of sitting on your desk at home, play an album, and get ready to spend several hours sharing your life with the consignee of your words. What about receiving postcards or letters? Such thing does not happen very often either. Whenever a friend travels, I keep on asking they send me a postcard. And really, receiving a postcard makes me very happy.

All this been said, and the reason for feeling nostalgic about some traditional habits, has to do, once again with music.

I seriously do not support music downloading, I’m an old school girl, better having a CD or a vinyl, and them complement them with the portable option for outdoors, the Ipod. There are sometimes you download an album, but most of times I eventually buy those I know I’d like. But this is not my point.

I want to talk about something we don’t do any more, this is, recording bootlegs compilations for your friends.

You have Spotify at just a click, and if enjoying selecting certain songs for specific moments, you can create a playlist. But again, all the emotion is left aside, and this turns quite cold and impersonal.

Back in my memories, I remember, my first bootleg was one recorded by my neighbor when I was 12-13. It was the “heavy metal” tape, as he considered a metalhead. It lasted one hour, with all the trashy cuts and typical noises and featured Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Status Quo, Whitesnake, Van Halen and Mötley Crüe I think. Closer to hard rock, I was delighted, because David was the guy I respected much. He was clever and smart and had a poster of The Trooper in his bedroom (and was ugly as hell, hahahah), and I used to like him, ha!

Another remarkable tape, was one my first boyfriend sent me when on holidays, after a month and a half being hanging out together. It was like a love letter, combined with nice tunes, rockin’, but with message underneath, more or less saying I like you, but I don’t know the fuck we’re doing and what should come next. Guess I still have it somewhere at my parents’, I found it so romantic!

CD became the perfect format for compilations, and Nero was THE perfect program. I was in my twenties, and was super devoted to rock. Bootlegs at that time became the perfect complement for presents, the best way to say “I love you” to someone you like and there were exclusive artwork and customizing involved. I still keep as many as possible, and from time to time I listen to them thinking of good ol’ times.

This is a pity, we don’t consider them a proper present any more, but really, I find a CD with a selection of songs for your pleasure, something unique.

I’m so pleased with the last CD my friend Artie recorded for me… It took me a week to listen to it, because I wanted to play it properly, loud, at home, and on my own. The element of surprise wondering what he’d have selected made the whole thing really exciting. And as I knew in advance, the compilation was a blast.

Why don’t we try to make an effort, and bring back all these old habits? Why don’t you record a CD for a close friend with stuff s/he might like? Something special just to show you love them, and want to share some things you’re passionate about. Let’s be more human, and let’s make our closest ones happy, tiny details and gestures are often more meaningful than expensive presents. C’mon, let’s do it!

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