Demonizing the tool(s) is scapegoating

Using technology intentionally

Hi there,

This journey of mine, rediscover the pleasures of the offline world, feels futile at times. Hasn’t life, our relationships, work, free time, moved entirely online? What is left offline anymore? Am I just nostalgic for a thing that no longer exists— the offline world?

Below are five things I thought were worth sharing this week:

  1. Demonizing the tool(s) is scapegoating. The problem isn’t our digital tools as much as it is the bigger cultural and societal shifts that have taken place when the world went digital. The offline world sounds romantic but what is even offline anymore? What are the alternatives available to us to the likes, comments, and Netflix binges that characterize our connections and time spent? It is a bit delusional to claim that if only we got rid of our smartphones, deleted all social media accounts, and quit the internet that we would be freed from our addiction.

  2. I’m rethinking my, *ahem*, obsession with the self-help, self-improvement, self… self…self… genre. Can I, perhaps, learn more from other genres? Currently reading The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin containing two essays: "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation" and "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region of My Mind." I want stories that make me feel, not inspired, but feel.

  3. Grounded in Realness is a 9-minute video on paying attention to, and enjoying, the simple things around us. “We don’t need to live life at breakneck speed. There is so much joy and wonder surrounding us in our daily lives— we just need to stop and take time to notice it. And it’s then that we realize that beauty truly is everywhere.”

  4. A quote I want to share with you this week: “I firmly believe that it’s the little things we do that eventually add up to a happy life. I am not asking you to change everything about the way you live, but perhaps to reconsider a few details of your daily routine” by Robert Arbor. How can we find tiny moments of delight in our day to day? Perhaps by paying more attention to the small details all around us?

  5. Eliminating the constant distractions of digital life only opens up another void. Stare into it long enough, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like whatever stares back: Digital Minimalism Review: Gazing Into the Abyss.

P.s. I was on The Dumbphone Show podcast by Jose Briones. Jose and I chatted about turning my iPhone into a dumb phone, simple offline pleasures, and what makes Reddit better than Instagram. You can check it out here.

That’s all for this week!

Thank you for reading, and please share with anyone you think may benefit.

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Until next week… :-)

Mehret


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