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Turn off the tech: Join us in Going Analogue

Posted by Chad O'Connor  December 12, 2013 11:00 AM

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The Boston area is well known for being a world leader in scientific and technological
advances, from biotechnology, to robotics, to software. We are all proud of the research
and innovation that takes place in our community. Our culture of innovation attracts
students, professionals, drives economic development and partnerships with businesses
and governments from all over the world.

Yet at times technology can inhibit human interaction in ways we least expect it. I’ll paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld: It’s easy to feel that your interlocutor, interviewee, colleague, date, or family member simply thinks that their answering that text message is simply more important than your conversation. We can all use a staycation from ubiquitous technology, and that’s why we’re going analogue.

We can start with one of the most ubiquitous must haves in our era, something which many consider ‘a part of them’: our mobile devices. To be sure, smartphones and tablets are incredibly useful tools for work and play. But how easy is it for us to turn them off?

We are living in an age of an expected response time bordering on instantaneous. Why didn’t she/he respond to me immediately? What’s wrong? Should I tweet again?

And have you seen a parent try to take away an iPad from a child? You would think physical pain was being caused to junior. Wouldn’t it be nice to consciously turn off these machines from time to time?

Localization is another feature that social technology can assist us with, someday, but it’s still easier to chat on Facebook with someone in Jakarta than ask Siri who shares common interests with you in your neighborhood. The Greater Boston area, and my neighborhood, the Kendall Square community, is full of interesting, remarkably intelligent and accomplished professionals. Yet business growth here has long taken precedent over the social community, and I for one want to know my neighbors better, face to face. There are efforts to make this happen, yet more needs to be done to bring people together in our vibrant, multicultural and growing innovation community.

We can show leadership in technology by building it; we can also lead by knowing when to turn it off.

It’s in the confluence of these needs that we have created a new destination in Cambridge, the Analogue Room. It's a place to unplug, read a [real] book, drink carefully brewed coffee, listen to [real] music, turn off the phone, and engage with people in our community in unexpected ways. Going Analogue is our meme for separating the signal from the noise. We hope to see you at our launch, and welcome others to join for what we have in store for the new year.

Lucy Valena, owner of Voltage Coffee & Art, and John Henry Silva, partner at Cambridge Bookstore, invite you to the launch of the Analogue Room.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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