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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How we start our days is how we spend our days

If we pay attention, love is everywhere.

And, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Too long, won’t read version: Add an offline activity to the start of your day for better days.

The long version: I paid attention and realized something yesterday. #storytime

I left my Airpods at home yesterday after my phone kindly warned me I’ve exceeded the recommended level for audio exposure. Got me wondering, how else is one supposed to listen to So Mi Like It? I digress…

Anyway, I wanted to give my ear a break, and didn’t want any temptation, so I brought a book instead for my commute. Usually, I’d read an e-book on my phone, while listening to music, switching between this app then that app, skipping this song then that song, you know the usual. On this particular commute, however, it was just my book and I, and my phone stayed in my purse.

Then, the magic happened.

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The opposite of addiction is connection

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection.

— JOHANN HARI

In the podcast episode The Opposite of Addiction by Your Undivided Attention, Johann Hari makes the case that addiction, amongst other mental health issues, is a symptom of a deeper problem of a disconnected society. 

The issue of internet addiction, for instance, isn’t the internet itself, but rather the void it helps us fill.

In other words, addiction is escapism.

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Addiction by design: How technology keeps us hooked

In 2011, I quit Facebook. In 2013, I quit Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat. In 2017, I quite Twitter, quitting social media all-together for three years. In between, I studied closely the psychological implications of the digital world on our lives and well-being. One of the most important lessons I learned was that technology isn’t neutral.

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