What We Lose (And Gain) In A Highly Digital World

What’s stuck out to me the most this week are articles relating to working online/digital culture/the internet because there are so many perspectives that highlight what’s both good and bad. As someone in this field, I often find myself caught between wanting to enjoy the instantaneous interweb connections, and yet distance away from them in order to live a balanced life.

This contrast has intrigued me, and is the focus of this week’s reading list, among a few essays, articles, and poems.

As always, you can see the ongoing lists here.

1. First, for all startups and digital nomads – this essay is unexpected, and yet extremely important – a different perspective on what the ‘digital’ and ‘remote life’ really mean.

“There are parts of the world that are described in multitudes of Instagram posts as “untouched” – the wild places, we are to suppose, where a lens and a filter are all that stands between the photographer and the deadly, beautiful unknown.

But these untouched plots of paradise are full of wifi signals, mapped out by connections and shared experiences and masterclasses.”

I’m intrigued by this because honestly, it’s the first ‘anti’ type of post I’ve read. I, like I’m sure many people in today’s society, have been inundated with images and advertisements promoting the ‘work-from-home’ life. And I’ll admit, as someone who lives that life everyday, I’m biased in appreciation towards it. But,/ reading this article made me think a little more on the drawbacks and future challenges that arise when so many people are living this ‘travel and work’ life – will we one day ruin the sacred, beautiful nature of some places by making them have wifi connections and new updates? #foodforthought

2. If you’re intrigued (and simultaneously annoyed) with the amount of engagement and marriage photos filling your newsfeed, then this poem on marriage might be interesting in it’s simple thoughts on the difference, yet sameness of the connection.

“and a
new dance they’ve
practiced so often it
happens as if by
nature, by fate,
by fortune, will
begin anew.”

Two of my good friends got married this May and I was struck by a comment the bride said to her new husband at the end of the ceremony; “Everything is different, and yet exactly the same.” That quote reminded me of this poem and how strange and beautiful it is to suddenly have your lives totally changed, and yet nothing in the everyday actually shifts.

3. I stumbled across this poem by Olivia Adkins, A Short Collection Of Words,” and wow, I love the imagery.

“i wake with a start in his lonely arms
the fire has come
i remember
like generations have lit a match
in my abdomen
And leave those empty arms that have never been able to hold me.”

4. I’m always intrigued by people’s insight into poetry and how we can improve as writers of that genre. This article on using ‘we’ in poems really made me think in a way I haven’t before.

“…The ‘we’ point of view could be abused, resulting in oversimplification and possibly preventing the scrutiny of reality…[but perphaps] the real danger is actually in avoiding the ‘we.'”

5. You’ve probably heard about ‘FOMO’ (the fear of missing out) but have you heard of ‘JOMO’? This thread talks about the joy of missing out.
And I find it oddly refreshing.

6. I stumbled across this article on the internet’s positive effects on anxiety, which, to be honest, is one of the first pieces I’ve ever seen with this perspective.
It seems like in today’s highly online world, fingers get pointed at the internet as the problem when it comes to a myriad of things, from self-esteem issues, to mental health, to bullying, etc. However, this article, from the perspective of an insightful eighth grade girl, talks about how she found out she wasn’t alone through the internet, giving a more positive spin.

” Part of the beauty of the Web is that, unless you openly talk about it, no one has a clue who you are. Your identity, if you choose, can be reflected only by your words.

Here I could get some of the help I needed. I still deal with anxiety daily, but I think this was a kind of turning point. By trying to learn more about my feelings and talking with other people who also feel this way, I was taking steps in the right direction.”

 

Featured Image Credit: 📷: Rodion Kutsaev