Sometimes I find myself longing for the simpler days of yesteryear. The days in the not-so-distant past before smartphones, Snapchat, and streaming services. The days when the most coveted feature on a cell phone was T9 texting. The days when there was no social media, just MySpace. The days when my friends and I strolled the aisles of Blockbuster on a Saturday night. Now I panic when my phone’s out of my peripheral view, I have so many social accounts it takes a minimum of thirty minutes to check them all, and I go to choose a movie on Netflix, give up after ten minutes, and watch the X Files (again). Sometimes, I just want to slow down, stop the sensory overload, and throwback to 2006.
Swap Netflix for a DVD
I know you’ve still got a portion of your DVD collection lying around. Those favorite titles you just couldn’t part with, the ones your ex-boyfriend threatened to destroy in the breakup, the ones now collecting dust on your bookshelf. Instead of scrolling through pages and pages of crime TV shows, movies based on books, and independent dramas on Netflix, narrow your choices to your ten remaining DVDs. If you’re lucky, you’re still holding on to a once-overpriced box set of your favorite TV show, and you can binge watch until your heart’s content.
Swap Spotify for a CD
If you’re like me, you’ve become a playlist junkie – those perfectly curated Spotify Discover Weekly collections make every Monday like Christmas. I know there’s only a slim chance you’ve still got CDs lying around (let’s be honest, CDs were more 2001 than 2006), but when was the last time you played an album from start to finish? Nowadays, listening to an album in the carefully composed order the artist intended has become a lost art. So, even if your CDs are long gone, consider switching your settlings off shuffle, commit to a single album, and start with song #1.
Swap Your Kindle for a Book
DVDs aren’t the only thing burning a hole in your bookshelf. Ever since you got your Kindle, your book collection has become more ornamental than functional. I’m totally old-school when it comes to the debate between books and e-readers, so I don’t need much persuading here. The smell of books alone – whether crisp and new or smudged with the scent of a hundred finger tips – is enough to intoxicate me into turning the pages. Don’t be afraid of compromising the feng shui you’ve created on your bookshelf – pull out one of those titles you once borrowed from a friend and never read but never returned either.
Swap Amazon for a Trip to the Mall
First, I want all the late-twenty-something, early-thirty-something ladies to join me in a moment of silence for trips to the mall. Can’t you just smell the Auntie Annie’s pretzels and free perfume samples? I’m a diehard online shopper – I love price comparing, and I love seeing a little brown box waiting outside my door. But the other day I went to Urban Outfitters to look at an item in person. I had some time to spare, so I allowed myself to wander, to peruse the racks, to pull out a piece of clothing and hold it up to myself in a mirror and an almost visceral feeling came over me – the feeling of how pleasant it is to actually go shopping. While I still tend to stay away from malls at all costs, I urge you to forgo the fifteen bucks you might save with the first-time-shopper discount code, go to a store, and try on some clothes.
Swap a Selfie for a Photo
I’m not the most photogenic gal on the block, so I admit, the ability to look at yourself on the screen while taking a picture was a bit of a game changer for me. However, recently, not one but two of my friends have gotten those new Fuji Instax cameras, known to anyone above the age of twenty-two as a Polaroid. These Polaroid-reboots reminded me of the thrill of rolling the dice when taking a photo – just going for it, hoping you don’t blink or start laughing, yet knowing if you do, it’ll make for a good story when someone asks about the picture later. If you don’t have fifty bucks to drop on one of the new-fangled Polaroids, search your junk drawer for an unfinished disposable camera.