Another thread on the site was devoted to "Pictures, then and now" (https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-572854-1.html
) and I thought a lot about the OP's thoughts about the changing technology being paralleled by changing lifestyles and changing preferences, how there seems to be an element of personal connection lost with not touching the images physically as you share them. I read a good many posts, but not all, so if this post begins to overlap, I apologize.
I just immediately thought of vinyl records.
I was born in 1969, right at the end of the days when the phonograph and vinyl reigned unchallenged. By the mid 1980's I had collected quite a stash of vinyl, the money earned mowing laws, clipping hedges, or washing cars. I always enjoyed the process of sweeping the vinyl, handling it only at the edges, and replacing an old stylus. And the music was so much more robust and clean than we could hear on radio. What i did not know was the unimaginable emotional mark on my life that was being made with the "work - buy - play - clean and play again" rituals of vinyl.
As I began to drive, of course I began to employ the cassette tape to make my music portable, even though I hated the always audible hissssssss created by the amplification of unwanted signal noise. I never could enjoy Pink Floyd on cassette.... the noise was just SO overwhelming in soft passages..... but I digress.
Then came CD's (huge improvement) computer files and data CD's... Fast forward to today and I have about 2500 songs on a couple of thumb drives in my car. Just for fun I loaded them all to a single playlist on my computer and it was something like 157 hours of music. That would be unimaginable to my youthful self, flipping from record number one to record number 2 on the Beatles' White album. 2500 songs and 150 hours of music on a pair of plastic things that fit easily in your pocket????
Funny though, a few months after I lost my dad almost nine years back, I ran headlong into a meltdown one afternoon when we went to move our entertainment center like 7 inches to the right to make room for a new shelf to hold our increasing DVD stash. I had to remove about 75 pounds of old, forgotten, almost hoarder-worthy, vinyl, and as I did, I was steamrolled with VIVID memories of which job I had completed for a neighbor or friend of the family to have the cash I used to buy it. I remembered my dad taking me to the store TO buy it. I remember the time he knew I was saving for a particular collectible colored vinyl, and bought the only copy at the store and gave it to me a few weeks later on HIS birthday. I remembered him pretending to be half as excited as I was with whichever record I had just gotten..... I remembered how lucky I had been in my youth to have him... and I cried for an hour.
I have to agree with the photography post suggesting that something REAL has been lost with the lost of physical sharing as opposed to digital. I have every one of my vinyl albums on digital now, and not one song triggers that kind of feeling in me, not even dad's favorite songs. Watching dad's favorite movies does not either. It's those 12 inch disks and the thin cardboard sleeves, the analog, tactile, tangible feedback that carries those emotions. I can read the hand-written praise on the back of my college diploma or the letter he gave me at my wedding reception and not feel so close and so removed all at once... as I do, even today, sliding out an inferior-audio-quality copy of the second disc of the Beatles' White Album...on white vinyl.... given to me by my dad on his birthday. 'You say it's your Birthday?....... It's my Birthday, too. Yeah.....'
Barkeep? Another round please..... and a couple extra napkins? Think I have something in my eye.