From Baby Boomers to Gen X, Y, & Z, there are certain characteristics that define, at least according to demographers and historians, each generation. Generation X, specifically, might also remember a Rush song called The Analog Kid. While not as frequently played as Tom Sawyer or Subdivisions, it has always been my favorite Rush song. Driving bass, awesome guitar solo, amazing imagery and Peart.
I am that Generation. The Analog Generation.
With all of our digital things getting connected, including things on and in our body, I started thinking that I'm part of the generation that transitioned from analog to digital. Not that analog or analog signals are disappearing anytime soon, but as a kid, there were way more analog things than digital, that's for sure. Audiophiles will also argue that analog recordings are better at capturing the true representation of sound due to it being continuous, rather than specific values to represent sound, as in the discrete digital.
I wondered if I was the only one who figured this out - highly doubtful - so I searched. And actually, there are a few people who have made the connection. One who argues that today's kids, at least his kids, are very analog. They love playing outside, playing board games and other non-digital activities. He talks about the importance of parents giving their children attention in the real world. And the other one specifically talks about the analog things we remember as a kid - records, 8mm, rotary phones, black & white TV, VHS and others verses the CDs, DVDs, iPhones and HD TVs today's kids live with.
Some feel that Rush's The Analog Kid is about a more innocent time with less technology in the world, longing for the simpler days. A cautionary tale. One person notes, 'Perhaps Peart's social comment with the two songs is how technology and science creates incredible wonders, but there's a cruel price to pay if there's no heart to guide it.' The other song he references is Digital Man, also on the Signals album. When I hear The Analog Kid it immediately takes me back to 1982 and whatever I was doing in high school. It is interesting that I took my first computer class in high school around that time...while still learning how to type...on a real typewriter. If you remember those, with the little IBM ball to change fonts, you're analog.
The last lines of the song are:
Too many hands on my time Too many feelings Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don't know What I'm hoping to find When I leave I don't know What I'm leaving behind...
We are certainly entering a new realm with IoT with a lot of hopes, dreams and ideas of things to come. And while they all might help us automatically adjust home temperatures, become a little healthier, auto drive our car, keep an eye on our home, and cook better dinners, we can't forget that humans are social creatures, not necessarily social media darlings, and our real family, friends and loves are what really matter.
We're already forging a new frontier but we must tread carefully.