Why We Like Old Things

This post is written by R. Cameron Bartlett.

photo by Ariana Prestes

I believe there’s a great yearning in each of us, today, to return to a time of reality and purpose. It seems that the social trends of today lack a sense of genuineness. We’re affectionately and tiringly striving for a social post or something we have to say to be accepted, responded to and become virally worth the recognition of others—as if this is what will give us purpose and fulfill our desires to be accepted.

Our worth, however, is not valued in the eyes of other’s home-fed tendencies. Not only does this low level of affirmation render itself utterly un-encompassing of our deep need to be liked, but, also, it kindles an addiction to the very unfulfilling actions we continually request of others. As if a double-tap or respreading of our empty-shelled identity-affirmation-statements actually validates our meaningfulness and purpose in any way. But we can’t stop, because those needs are never authentically fulfilled.

There is a trend that I believe many of are seeking, for realness, genuineness and a flash back to a time when people were real to each to each other; when people relied on their fellow communal affiliations—valued their time and company. Not only do much of our social trends with real people not adequately substitute, but we’ve grown wary of the efforts of marketers and the truly lonely to automate responses and interactions to gain attention.

We are more than can be digitized. We are worth more than the stars, hearts and thumbs-up we so deeply value. I include myself in this group of marketers who have sacrificed the sanctity of a genuine interaction for the cheap thrills of meaningless statistics and analytics. I also find myself in this movement for realness. I believe it’s why we like old things—why the trends of today are the re-purposing of what’s old, often inefficient, yet grown with care and tradition.

I believe God is fully in support of our efforts to be more communally-relient and authentic. The New testament church consisted of people who sold all they had to contribute to the better of the group. It was full of accountability and closeness. What if our striving for a following, intellectual affirmation and desirability could be replaced with something of real and life-changing substance?

If we could replace our time spent aimlessly wandering on each new social stream with a dedication to seek after God and to be intentional about our time with real people, we could cut our need for false validation and work towards what is genuine, authentic and truly fulfilling. We are more than can be digitized. We desire more than can be artificialized. We yearn for what is real. 

Cameron is a marketing guy who loves communicating through creative media. He loves his wife, studying the Bible, making up new words and stealing wifi from various coffee shops around Nashville. He’s most creative on his twitter and youtube.