the analog world
The internet continues to ooze over more and more of everything you know and love, coating everything with a trail of slime in its wake. With supercomputers in our pockets pumping audio of one kind or another into our ears at all conscious moments, we’re nearly never not online. And almost as quickly as this state of affairs became normal, so too did the sense that the world before the flood of content was better, purer, more simple. Evenings spent in quiet reflection and conversation were the norm, we imagine, and with less of humanity at arm’s reach digitally we could more easily focus on what was physically nearby.
But for all our worry about the complete digitization of our lives and ways we seek meaning, so much – the vast majority, really – of what we actually engage with remains tactile. Restaurants and hotels may be plating dishes and installing neon signs that cry out for Instagram, but the food we eat, the clothing we’re photographed in, and furniture we sit on all still and insistently offer fundamentally sensory experiences.
In this (our 13th!) issue, our contributors grapple with fantasies of a pre-social media age, how hard it can be to walk around without regularly checking our phones, and the ways in which earlier methods of engaging with media continue to slip away. Of course, with the exception of our recent book, Newest York itself is a publication available only with the help of an internet connection. All the same, we’re trying this month to remember that even if the non-connected world is on its way out, it’s still going somewhere.
Thank you, as always, for reading.
All illustrations this issue are the work of Samantha Silverman.