Of Technology, Death Cab for Cutie, and Tradition - kenny chung : the frequency

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“The New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie

I have this longstanding tradition with my childhood friends, James Riso and his brother Chris. Almost every New Years Eve since 2001, I’ve gone to a family party at their house in Brooklyn. We’d eat food, play old school video games, pop champagne, play some cards, and engage in other stereotypical festivities.

However, we do have one (somewhat unique) tradition. Sometime after midnight, we’d listen to the song “The New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie (off the 2003 album “Transatlanticism”). I remember the first year, we listened to a burned CD. The next was when MP3 players became more commonplace, and I had the song on a tiny flash-drive type music device. Some other years, it was on a new laptop, or on a personal media player with video. Then came the rise of smartphones, and here we are.

I suppose the purpose of this post is to highlight that tradition and technology are not always at odds, which is an archaic sentiment I see a lot, working in Internet marketing. In fact, technology can make traditions more efficient (kitchen appliances with computer chips in them), more memorable (increasingly affordable point-and-shoot digital cameras), more spreadable (smartphones and social media platforms), and generally easier to carry on over time or through iterations of the digital age.

Technology is an ally, and not a foe. Just a reminder for the new year, that we should embrace technology, as it augments our lives, and will only replace our traditions if we allow it to.

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