2 min read

When you lose something you can't explain

We gained so much in free entertainment, but what did we lose?
When you lose something you can't explain
Photo by Maxim Ilyahov / Unsplash

Do you feel like you lost something?

I mean, with Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, Gmail, Slack, Zoom, Meet, Calendar, Youtube, Zomato, Reddit et cetera.

When I was a teen and I had teen problems like heartbreaks and parental pressure, I used to hide in some corner of the house with my laptop and write a new chapter in my novel. A new chapter in the story of John and Sarah. That half-finished novel is still around somewhere, but what a thing to do when you're down, right? Create something?

It seems impossible to me today that coping would look like writing. It mostly looks like Netflix or Youtube Shorts or Rocket League. You get what I'm saying, but I'll try to articulate it anyway: I lost the empty space in my life that, if left empty, allows for magic to happen.

I have so much grief about the fact that the tech gods figured out how to tame my attention. I don't know how to do the slow stuff anymore, the writing when I'm suffering, the sitting in the balcony with a book and chai, the going for a walk and letting my mind wander.

I lost the empty space in my life that, if left empty, allows for magic to happen.

I read this piece two years ago, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. The logic of advertising is 'win-win'. You've got empty space, I've got some ads. Let's make some money together. But is it win-win, or do we lose something we can't articulate?

In the attention economy, this question is nothing short of existential, so you won't regret reading this essay.

Three Suggestions For How Advertising Can Become More Intrusive ❧ Current Affairs
<p>The “win-win” logic of advertising makes its spread almost impossible to curb. </p>

The newsletter ends here, but the marketer in me is itching to put a survey or some button here. But we'd lose something in exchange, no? The possibility that you, dear reader, might sit and chew on these ideas for a little bit.

There's no survey here, at least not today. There might be one sometime in the future, and I am sorry that's the way things are. But today I hope you might stay with this idea, or anything else you'd like to contemplate.  

If you have thoughts, I am here to listen. If not, that's okay too. Either way, I wish you depth, and I wish you stillness ❤️