avatarSamantha Drummond


Rediscovering Pastimes in the Modern Age

The sun casts a mellow glow as I find my 14-year-old daughter leafing through a worn-out photo album in our attic. Each photograph, a relic of the past, unfolds a tale of family gatherings, forgotten vacations, and treasured moments. Downstairs, the delightful chords of a piano echo, my 7-year-old son’s fingers dancing on the keys of the same instrument I learned on as a child.

In an age where memories are often trapped behind screens and music often streams from cloud servers, these moments strike a nostalgic chord. The pastimes we once thought were eclipsed by the digital age are making a silent, yet potent comeback.

This resurgence isn’t just a trend within the four walls of our home. Across the globe, there’s a noticeable revival of the bygone. Vinyl records, film cameras, and handwritten journals are finding their way back into modern lives, offering a tactile counterpoint to the often intangible digital realm.

As their mother, I find myself wondering: What has sparked this renewed interest in the ‘old-school’? Is it a transient fad or a deeper yearning for tangible experiences in our increasingly digital-driven lives?

Today’s challenges are unique. While technology offers convenience, immediacy, and a breadth of information at our fingertips, it sometimes overshadows the tangible, authentic experiences that have been part of human history for millennia. It’s heartening to see my daughter embrace the charm of film photography, appreciating the thrill of waiting for a photograph to develop. Simultaneously, my son’s foray into classical music is a testament to the timeless allure of melodies that have transcended generations.

The ambient sounds of our abode encapsulate this beautiful amalgamation. Alongside the familiar pings of message notifications, there’s the rhythmic click of a typewriter — a recent fascination for my daughter (it was my grandfathers) as she pens her thoughts. Instead of just Spotify playlists, the rich resonance of vinyl fills our evenings, a newfound interest for my son (thanks dad).

This journey of rediscovery poses its set of dilemmas. As they look to the past, how do I ensure my children also remain adept and agile in a world that’s ever-evolving? How can they seamlessly merge the wisdom of the past with the innovations of the present?

A couple of different surveys I’ve read on recently have highlighted that while the younger generation is the most tech-savvy, they also increasingly value experiences over possessions. This intrinsic need for ‘real’ experiences, combined with the expansive resources of the digital age, can offer unparalleled opportunities for learning and growth.

I envision a future where my children are adept at bridging the old with the new. A world where they employ modern technology to digitise our treasured family photos, or use social platforms to share classical tunes. Their lives, enriched with experiences from both worlds.

Globally, there’s an evident shift towards blending traditions with modernity. Craftsmanship is being celebrated alongside automation, and ancient wisdom coexists with breakthrough innovations.

Navigating this interplay of eras while raising my children offers up a lot of emotions. Their zest for rediscovery fills me with pride and offers a comforting assurance that the treasures of the past won’t fade into oblivion.

To parents, mentors, and educators everywhere, I say cherish this renaissance of the old. Let’s create environments where our young ones can dance freely between epochs, extracting the beauty and wisdom from each.

Our histories have value and can be woven into our future narratives too.

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