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By June 18, 2015 , ,

20 years ago, before the advent of iPhones, laptops, and other techy gadgets, I like to believe that people led a quieter pace of life. People spent time communicating face to face rather than through text messages. They read more and when they did, they read books not Kindles. They posted letters rather than  clicking the “send’ button on an email.

Sadly, this way of life seem like a remnant of the past, a quaint habit…a yesteryear nostalgia. Take my memories of 20 years ago, for instance. I remember in my school days, a research paper for a class would necessitate a visit to the library where I would search for books in catalogues and lumber around with heavy encyclopedias crammed with information. There was no internet and Wikipedia for a shortcut until later in my high school years.

When doing roadtrips with the family, we referred to actual maps, creased and worn from repeated use. There was no convenience of Google maps.

All through my childhood, I devoured books, getting lost in tales of fantasy, sci-fi adventure, and mysteries. Now I devour newsfeeds on Instagram and Facebook.

All this seems so “vintage-y” now and it’s with a twinge of nostalgia that I look back on those days. So many of the conveniences afforded by technological advances have made our lives easier. So much so that it's practically unrealistic to go back to doing things the old way, like using encyclopedias or real maps. But before technology took over our lives, we were also less siloed, less distracted, less harried. How many times do you look at your phone when having dinner with your loved one? I know I’m guilty of repeatedly checking my phone during mealtimes. And let’s face it, we all use our smart phones as a social crutch when sitting and waiting for someone or while eating alone so we don’t look like complete losers! Whatever happened to just sitting and watching the world go by or doing some quiet self-reflection?

So what am I trying to say here? This writing is a reminder to myself to strike the right balance and not fall victim to the ringing phone, the beep of a newly arrived text message, and the constant need to respond to an email right away. It’s okay to step away from it all and enjoy some retro activities…like talking to a real person in front of me. 

Dress: Zara | Purse: Marc Jacobs | Bracelet: Gorjana | Watch: Kate Spade | Shoes: Bangkok 
Photography by Utek Leong. Check out his photoblog on www.youtakephotos.com or his instagram account @utekkie.

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