Photo - Rachel Short

Analogue Aunt | Rachel Short answers some letters from our readers

by Rachel Short | @TheRachelShort

In light of Issue 1 of Catalyst for 2015 being the Analogue Issue, we had our own in house agony aunt answer your letters.

My boyfriend wants me to try analogue but I heard it hurts. What do I do? – Pip, 21

Pip, you were born in 1994, so you’re what the educators refer to as a ‘digital native’. I imagine you’ve grown up around the Internet, video games, mobile phones and whizzbang computers and considered them as a normal thing throughout your life, yes?

Well, as an almost-29 year old senior citizen, let me tell you the beauty of an analogue life. When I was in primary school we used to find entertainment in going outside and running around chasing butterflies and rolling around in the grass.

I wasn’t allowed to have games consoles and dad used to ban my siblings and I from watching television for no reason. I can see how trying analogue could be painful for your generation – how would you find activities to pass the time? I would suggest weaning yourself from certain things and gradually get off the grid for a little while.

Try deleting one social media app from your smartphone at first,  then follow with another each week until you can only change your status when you’re sitting at a computer. Sell your iPad, they’re not much more useful than a phone anyway. Stop snapchatting, I don’t understand what that is, but I know it’s a thing.

Once you have taken my advice on board, you’ll be astounded at how much better you’ll feel. It’s like clean eating for your brain. Give it a shot, but do it in your own time. Don’t let your boyfriend pressure you into anything you’re not comfortable with.

My Juno 8 keyboard is busted. Should I try to fix it or just go digital? – Tim, 28

Tim, I’m going to be completely honest with you here: I’m totally obsessed with the 80s. There’s nothing more appealing to me than a man who plays an instrument from the decade I was born. Please, just fix it, for I fear another terrible electro-indie band be formed from your transition to digital. Thanks.

I met my girlfriend online and I used a photo where I photo shopped out all my eczema. But now we’re going to meet and I’m breaking out real bad. Should I cancel or come clean? – Max, 23

Max! What a shame you haven’t learned the truth behind the saying, ‘beauty is only skin deep’. Though, if you’re calling this woman your girlfriend and you haven’t met in real life yet, perhaps she has seen you for who you truly are – a beautifully weird kind of way to begin a relationship.

Saying that, you’ve begun your web-romance based on a lie and it might not sit well. I’d advise you come clean –like your edited photo– before you meet her in the real world and hope she sees past your sad lack of self-esteem.

Also, could you show me how to airbrush blemishes on photos? I’m not great with photograph shop. Thanks, bye guys.

I’ve been noticing my boyfriend slowly becoming less responsive to me. He often forgets to return text messages and missed calls and when I ask him why, he stares blankly into space and shrugs his shoulders. When I ask him to help out around the house, he doesn’t seem to do things properly. It’s as though he has stopped absorbing information all together. The light has left his eyes and everyday activities seem to have become incredibly tiresome for him. I don’t know what to do. Help! – Meg, 26

Meg, have you tried turning him off and then turning him back on again?

Dad wants to go on a family camping holiday and used the phrase ‘roughing it’. I’m terrified of what this might mean. What should I expect? – Chris, 19

Oh, Chris. There’s a pain in my heart telling me your high school never subjected you to the pain of ‘real’ school camps like my rural private school did.

When I was in years 9 through 11, we went on ‘outdoor education’ trips, where you had the privilege of shitting in holes and hiking up vertical red dust hills for 20 kilometres a day.

We were forced to share tents with other girls who weren’t necessarily in our friendship group. This was usually because of weird, seemingly pointless medical needs, including one girl who had a large snaplock bag containing pills, rivalling your local pharmacy.

And don’t even get me started on what they fed us. I bet your dad will take you spearfishing and make you sleep under the stars, which will subject you to many unidentifiable biting insects.

He’ll try to get you to gut and bone the fish he caught, so you can cook them over a small trangia. As an avid nature-hater, I can tell you now, expect one of the worst (and most tense) family holidays of your sweet adolescent life. Good luck buddy!

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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