The Happy Hybrid {A Less Digital Life ~ Day 1}

I bet you thought I was proving a point by not publishing a post today, that I’d model how to live the less digital life by not blogging about it. Nice idea, but I’m just posting late at night to make more time for being present and productive in my home during the day.

Really, this series isn’t about going non-digital. It’s about finding a happy place somewhere between being the techie who sold all his books, CDs and DVDs and sleeps on somebody else’s couch because he doesn’t want to own a physical place of his own, and being the grandmother who lives so far off the grid that I have to stamp a letter, call the land-line or drop in for a surprise visit in order to get in touch. Not that the off-the-grid life doesn’t sound enticing at times, but most of us know the perks of the online world too well to quit it altogether.

A marketing study released last year says, “We’re going to see more of a push for a sort of ‘hybrid’ way of living that combines the best of the old and new—keeping current conveniences while holding fast to those traditions and values that are in danger of disappearing. Whether it involves spending time digging in the dirt in the garden, immersing oneself in literary classics, or purchasing artisan-made products, people will seek to temper the new with the old, the artificial with the natural, the digital with the analog. In this way, they’ll create a way of living that offers more meaning, comfort, and, ultimately, satisfaction.”

That sounds like me…
~My husband and I scoured the real estate websites for two years trying to land ourselves in our current neighborhood, an old town turned culture hub.
~So maybe the scientists are trying to figure how to grow a tomato out of thin air by now (wink), but I like my food old-fashioned, so I do my best to grow my own in a square foot garden and I shop the markets that sell produce from family farms.
~I may not be part of the Greatest Generation’s penchant for formal club membership (Kiwanis Club and the like), but I go to book club and writers’ group in person once a month and I interact with writers online in co-leading the Story Circle.

Does it sound like you, too?
~Maybe you have an iTunes library filling up your hard drive but you buy the real album for the touchable artwork and autograph.
~Maybe you document your days on Instagram, but like one twenty-something friend of mine you’ve picked up the hobby of shooting with a real 35mm film camera.
~Maybe you’re known for writing the cleverest posts on your social media outlets but you collect artisan stationery and bless your loved ones with handwritten letters.

If you think about it, physical experience is the only way to experience the full meaning of life. In his book Heaven, Randy Alcorn asserts that “God made Adam and Eve to be spiritual and physical–they were not human until they were both.” When we repeatedly escape from our physical interactions and become mere shadows of ourselves online, we end up feeling like half the person we were meant to be. We are both tangible and intangible, body and spirit, handmade and God-breathed, something like a hybrid.

lessdigitalHere’s a little Internet break for you. Right now, before you do anything else online….
Jot down or doodle 3 experiences/objects that make up the scene of your everyday dream life, things that keep you grounded in the real world. Be as specific as possible, choosing things you can visualize, i.e., “digging in dirt, antiquing, talking around the dinner table.” Post it on your fridge and share your ideas in the comments below.

P.S. Please excuse my lack of photo. I’m still sifting through recovered pics and can’t find what I’m looking for.

{I’m linking up with Nester for her annual 31 Days blog get together. Don’t want to miss this series? Be sure to subscribe by entering your email in the box on the homepage sidebar. Find all posts in the series here.}

16 thoughts on “The Happy Hybrid {A Less Digital Life ~ Day 1}

    • Yes, that’s the tough part, isn’t it? Just like it’s hard to function without a car in the kind of culture I (we?) live in, it’s hard to know how to relate with plugged in people in our plugged in culture unless we’re somewhat plugged in ourselves.

  1. I enjoy reading books on my Kindle, but books I really love, I buy – preferably in hardback. I revel in the satisfaction of looking at my overflowing bookcase and seeing the physical markers of my mental real estate.

    • AND I love what you said here, too: “the satisfaction of looking at my overflowing bookcase and seeing the physical markers of my mental real estate.” I second that.

  2. Writing letters, eating from and watching my garden grow (but not necessarily being the one to weed – ha!), playing piano… these are a few of my favorite things. Looking forward to following along on this series!

    • Weeding is probably your hubby’s job, right? Gives him an extra reason to go to that little hardware store when the garden tools wear out. ;) Is that place back open yet?

  3. Reading real paperback novels while curled up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea, writing in my own personal journal just for me, and turning off the computer all together to run and jump and play with my kids. These days are far too fleeting to miss out on moments like these and I’m re-learning how to make these pieces of real living more important than the distractions of our technological world that so entangle me.

  4. Thumbing through art and craft books, hearing the whir of my sewing machine assembling something for one of us to wear while I chat with my toddler who watches, and talking to the chickens while I gather something for dinner from our tiny garden…

    I just found your series from the 31 Day link pages – I’m doing the series, too. Glad to have found you!

    • Ahhh- you’re living the good life, at least my definition of it. I would love to learn to sew again (haven’t done that since middle school home ec.) and I dream of having chickens someday. I have a little square foot garden, though. I love it, especially for tomatoes.

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