The Revenge of Analog (Redux). So I introduced you to this one back in the summer, and I hope you’ve had a chance to read this book on a topic that has sparked much contemplation – David Sax’s The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter. This week’s cool update is that I just had a caffeinated conversation with David for our Cup of Jo YouTube Series – so check it out in the link below.
In his book, David tackles the subject of how we humans have shifted, changed and morphed with our rush to the internet, our rush to digital versions of everything, and of course, instant gratification with the internet in our pockets. Yet as humans, we are also tactile by nature, and we revel in the roughness of our paper books, the softness and suppleness of skin, and all the wondrous feedback we get from one of our most involved senses – touch. From a growing resurgence of analog technologies – think paper, film, vinyl, retail (remember Amazon and their recent purchase of 450+ physical Whole Foods stores?) – Sax explores how we, as humans, truly appreciate physical mediums, postulating that these are actually “superior mediums for life.”
It’s a fact that millennials prefer and seek out print. Yes, you heard me – print! It’s true that digital directly targets our pleasure centres and acts like an addictive drug, spiking our dopamine and driving our serotonin to an 11. Print, in all of its physical manifestations, is tactile, real, doesn’t interrupt us, has an actual endpoint (as opposed to the cacophonous tributaries that online offers), and nourishes our senses on a multitude of levels. Even our Gen Z 9.5 year old craves real books, dragging them from room to room in our home, or house-to-car/house-to-plane when we travel. He could, of course, read online or on a tablet, but he lights up (not from a screen) with the page turning action of a tangible book in hand. It will be interesting to see if records, film and other analog fascinations are merely a throwback fad, or if these trends are somehow symptomatic of our innate cravings for the palpable. Payphones exempted, of course.
As I have extolled in past Mashups, and our Print in a Digital World Trend Reports, the incredible outcome produced by the matching up of the Gutenberg Press and the Internet – two of the best transfer mechanisms of the ages now intersecting. As humans, we thrive in a hybrid world where we can go fast and slow at the same time, where we can delve and dabble simultaneously, where we can have our cake and download it too – where we are digital and analog all at once. So when you’re planning your next marketing incursion, don’t forget to tap into all that is possible as our old analog friends make a comeback and our basic human needs continue to drive and inform our choices.
And… enjoy my caffeinated journey with the fascinating David Sax.
Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications