Digital vs. analogue: How to live efficiently while staying cool

Digital vs. analogue: How to live efficiently while staying cool

While the vortex of information overload is wearing out a growing number of people, evolving technologies also make today's breakneck life easier by helping organise things and executing time-wasting chores in a snap.

Ever-smarter mobile gadgets and software help cut costs and save time. They are getting better at analysing users' life patterns, tastes and even habits, sorting out and providing precise information.

Smartphones and tablets lead the pack. Though some may call them the very culprits behind the digital distractions, they play a key role in improving the mobility and ubiquity of information and its consumption.

With them, everything is on the go - no one needs to rush to their home or office to check the breaking news on television or a computer.

Also in constant evolution are applications for mobile devices. Products such as T-Map, Olleh Navi and Daum Map give the fastest possible routes in real time even in the midst of a Friday afternoon traffic snarl.

Recipes are instantly available for head-scratching dishes required for ancestral rites on traditional Korean holidays. Some programs read business cards through the camera, digitalize the information and add it to the user's contact database.

To help busy office workers navigate a sea of information, many private institutes offer online and off-line classes on self-improvement, time management and how to set goals and a vision for their lives.

Run by the Korea Leadership Center, the Success Shop offers lectures on the use of digital planners and communication skills and places for gatherings and activities, and sells items that it says will improve efficiency and save time in one's daily life.

The Globalization Strategy Institute is gearing up to launch its 34th nine-week course on enhancing "success capabilities" in mid-January.

Each week, up to 24 participants will learn ways to better manage their goals, time, human networks, finance, health and images.

"The reason why we need to manage our time and organise our thoughts is not to save time and live our lives more effectively, but to avoid wasting our emotions on unnecessary matters and pay greater attention to more precious things, especially those related to our families," says Lee Sang-hyuk, the author of a 2013 book titled "Note-Taking Techniques" and cohost of a popular podcast on new, innovative stationary products and note-taking tips.

For all the conveniences and addictions of the digital age, more people are daring to defy the technological evolution and go back to "analogue."

A spate of small pubs thrive in Seoul's hotspots around Itaewon-dong and Hongik and Konkuk universities, enticing aficionados of the sound of vinyl records.

Top Korean singers including Cho Yong-pil, Shin Seung-hun and G-Dragon have recently launched new albums not just as digital downloads but also as vinyl records.

The trend appears to be an international one.

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