Where did everyone go?

it will make sense

I had a thought recently: where did everyone go?

I laughed because, living in a big city, I’m constantly surrounded by people. Spending so much time around way too many people, how could I still be longing for, craving, wanting for human connection? A small talk about the weather, a chat about grocery prices at the store, a quick vent session about life at the train station? It used to be.

The answer came to me just as quickly: Everyone is here, online; talking about the weather, complaining about grocery prices, and venting about life on the world wide web.

I’m just not here. And it sucks.

Everyone is talking, but the silence is deafening.

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The loneliest place

The loneliest place has billions of people on it.

The loneliest place promises to connect us with these billions of people worldwide, at any given time of the day.

The loneliest place is where we spend the majority of our time.

The loneliest place is full of noise, chats, arguments.

The loneliest place is supposed to make us feel less lonely.

Not long ago, I used to spend a lot of my time at the loneliest place; engrossed, addicted, alone.

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4 radical digital detox ideas

The word radical describes a person, an action or a thing that is especially impressive, inspiring, extraordinary, revolutionary, visionary, exciting, remarkable, exceptional, amazing, marvellous, sensational, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, spectacular…

You get the point.

Naturally, most of my approaches to practicing digital well-being have been extreme, like quitting social media altogether, or trying to flush my phone down the toilet. Spoiler alert: iPhone 4s doesn’t flush.

Over the years, implementing radical changes, not including flushing my phone down the toilet, have forced me to experience life without constantly escaping into digital distractions. Once I experienced the blissful offline world, it is hard to want to go back to spending countless hours mindlessly browsing the internet, obsessively checking for messages, or reading news that has 0.001% relevancy to my life.

Below are four radical digital detoxes I have implemented over the years that have helped me experience the joy of the world outside of my phone screen.

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Demons hate fresh air

I read Austin Kleon’s Keep Going: 10 Rules for Staying Creative in Good Times and Bad for the third time this year. It’s that good.

Kleon is one of my favourite writers and bloggers. When I discovered him earlier last year, I read his blog all the way back to 2012 and four of his books. I can’t seem to get enough of his timeless advice.

His work is terrific and inspiring.

I came across the quote, demons hate fresh air, in Keep Going and it has stuck with me ever since:

No matter what time you get out of bed, go for a walk and then work, [Ingmar Bergman] would say, because the demons hate it when you get out of bed, demons hate fresh air.

Ingmar Bergman

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