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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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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Is texting culture giving us anxiety?

Texting culture has burdened us with the expectation to be reachable and responsive 24/7. What is such expectation costing us?

Although I didn’t feel entirely alone in suffering from texting induced anxiety, I didn’t think the problem was relevant enough to grant clinical terms, such as textiety and textaphrenia.

Text messaging is an essential part of communication, providing a quick and convenient method to stay connected with our family, friends, and acquaintances. But, despite being a useful mode of communication, the expectation to be reachable and responsive 24/7, literally, can be very stressful and overwhelming for many.

Textiety refers to the anxious feeling one gets from not receiving or sending text messages.

Mental health professionals are reporting anxiety around texting show up in their practice, and it is now part of a new area of research and treatment related to mobile devices and online communication.

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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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