Reality is analog. All of it. These days, people seem a bit confused about what is real (analog) and what is unreal (virtual and/or digital). I’m here to help.
Have you ever gotten a digital haircut? How about digital surgery? While I did have surgery to implant a digital device to remind my heart to beat and my husband wears digital hearing aids, most of real life is deeply, substantively, painfully, gloriously analog.
For the past week, I have been having a recurring non-digital, significantly analog experience: I am giving myself a haircut. This involves a real pair of sharp, stainless steel hair shears and a lot of snipping of my real hair with those analog scissors. This is a process in which it is important to know if you analogically slip a snip, you cannot hit “undo” and replace a clump of hair. So you do it slowly, in stages. A clip or two at a time. No computers or other devices involved. Just … little analogic bits of hair falling gently and not virtually or digitally into your sink and down your neck.
If you are having trouble distinguishing the difference between analogical reality and virtual reality, here are some guidelines:
- If it makes you bleed, it’s analog.
- If it hurts, it’s analog.
- If it goes away when you turn off the device, it’s digital — and probably virtual.
- If you can fix it by reloading or hitting “undo”? Digital, virtual. Not real.
- If it looks like something out of Mordor and has scales, fangs, weird horns and is speaking in a strange tongue? It’s probably virtual but it also might be drug-related. Please check to see if you have been smoking or drinking (or both) before making assumptions. However, if it bites you with its fangs and removes a piece of you? And this event is followed by bleeding and pain? Toss the goggles and run. That is reality. Biting you.
Here’s the clincher: If you are doing something virtual while doing something analog, for example texting while driving? You may encounter the ultimate analog experience. Death. Game over.