See you on the flip side: Is your family going back to analog or are you digital all the way?

Rebecca Stanisic

When I was a teen, I listened to CDs. I’m not sure when I made the switch from cassette tapes (which I played in the cutest, smallest little pink tape player while listening to Pop Goes the World) to CDs, but by the time I was in my early teens it was all CDs. That was the early nineties.  

I can still remember opening the Phantom of the Opera CD in my stocking, and every holiday season I would ask for some sort of music as a gift.  

It became like that for DVDs and movies later as well.  

Person sitting on floor with record playerThen, of course, the iPod meant we had portable music on the go that fit in our pockets (full disclosure – I couldn’t even remember the name of the little clip-on device we had! The iPod has been around a long time, but I forgot it didn’t always have a screen!). Digital music grew and grew (and yes, I’ve skipped over the Napster days and the intellectual property issues they created) so it became accessible everywhere and we no longer needed physical copies.  

Remember when we played CDs in the car?  

I’m noticing, however, that there’s a trend back to owning physical copies. 

In this house, we’ve seen a resurgence of vinyl records and CD music being purchased and listened to. I love having a record player and there’s something about not only seeing the records but the sound quality we get from our speakers (I’m not an audiophile but I can tell the difference).  

CDs, I’m told by those in my house who know about these things, aren’t as compressed as digital music so they sound better too.  

Vinyl records and CDs are on the Christmas wish lists for both my son and husband. They want to collect the physical copies, read the liner notes, and stare at the artwork. I completely understand; I feel this way about books versus e-books.  

It’s interesting to see, after all these years of ‘digital-first’ media, a resurgence back to owning copies of media to enjoy and to collect. We’ve been minimalist about physical media for many years, but is it making a comeback?  

Are you noticing the same trend?  

Maybe it’s time I break out my Phantom of the Opera CD again since what’s old is new. 

Parents, we know music is a huge part of our teen’s lives (see: anything about Taylor Swift), so don’t miss out on these resources by MediaSmarts to help you navigate online music and media!