📐 of the 🧠 
There’s this nagging feeling that I have. It spiderwebs out in so many different directions that it’s difficult to eloquently articulate it. I’ll try to set the stage here, but future issues will likely unpack other aspects of the same theme with the goal to eventually distill my thoughts into something more potent.
Let’s play one of my favorite games… Fun with words. The word today is grounded. Let’s look at the adjective form definitions:
- well balanced and sensible and
- (of a pilot or an aircraft) prohibited or prevented from flying
When you say someone is a grounded or well-grounded individual, you mean #1. When you describe a flight or pilot (or misbehaving child) with grounded you mean #2. The second usually takes the verb form, “The flight was grounded due to failing safety checks.” The verb also represents the electrical engineering status of being connected to the ground via a “ground wire”. This condition is known as being grounded and it prevents the likelihood of electrocution or electrical fires due to voltage from arcing.
So if I described us as a grounded society in today’s state of technological overabundance, which definition fits? Does the wealth of information in our pockets, on our wrists and most often being constantly stared at make us more sensible or well-informed? That would be grand, but it’s far from the reality as I see it. We’re grounded in the lack of flight or freedom sense.
The irony just smacks you in the face doesn’t it? Technological leaps have grounded us. We’ve never been more connected, yet we lack being grounded. What a shocker. We fry our brains and our attention spans like one of those eggs in the pan in the “This is your brain on drugs” commercials I grew up watching on television. We should have current versions for various epidemics. “This is your brain on social media” or “This is your brain on spending more time staring at your phone than you do any of the human beings around you,” perhaps? It’s the same damn commercial. You just have to swap out the talk track.
Here’s an experiment… Ground yourself. Now have fun with the definitions and interpretations of that suggestion, since I don’t give advice.
1️⃣ Something I 👀…
I saw this in Jeff Sheldon’s 5 Things I’m Digging monthly newsletter. I have watched it countless times since. The technical skill, video work and amazing song choice combine into something that I really can’t do justice with words. It’s 5 minutes that will blow your mind… I guarantee it.
And just in case your attention span is weak, the 2:50 mark is one Jeff called out in his blurb and I’ll 2nd the motion… 🤯
2️⃣ Something I spent time with…
This is way more than a 5 minute investment, but if you’re into seeing how something works, this is for you to spend some time digesting. Puns intended.
The writing alongside the interactive illustrations of the watch parts in movement is really engaging. I recommend viewing this one on a larger screen than the phone for full immersion. Speaking of, this quote hits it:
In the world of modern portable devices, it may be hard to believe that merely a few decades ago the most convenient way to keep track of time was a mechanical watch. Unlike their quartz and smart siblings, mechanical watches can run without using any batteries or other electronic components.
3️⃣ Something I read…
I dig what Matt D’Avella and the Slow Growth team are doing with their newsletter. When I read this issue, the main feature wasn’t covering any new ground for me as I’ve been on my own digital minimalism journey of sorts. That said, I’m sharing it because it’s a great overview to share with someone that’s either curious themselves, or finds some of your tactics a bit curious if the journey is one you’re on.
Ultimately, digital minimalism isn’t about rejecting technology: it’s about being intentional with it. And because technology is neither inherently good nor bad, our intentionality is the distinctive factor between it being something that drains us or a tool that benefits our lives.
📬 Thanks for reading!
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Angles Outside 180 📐
This section is only for the folks that scroll to the bottom of a newsletter the way true fans sit to the end of the credits in a movie hoping for a little more…
- Thanks to the new subscriber that mentioned to me that the newsletter sign up button here wasn’t functioning properly. It is fixed!
- I don’t recall mentioning it in any other issues, but I saw Hamilton live for the first time last month. Amazing show doesn’t even begin to describe how good it is.
- Interestingly, you don’t see the crowd watching a Broadway show like Hamilton holding up their phones/tablets to record the moment as it is happening the same way you do at a concert. Some of that must be theatre culture vs. concert culture… but maybe those that take in a Broadway show or an opera have more of a respect for the experience being lived than the experience being shared online. This would make a great psychology/sociology case study.
- Back catalog of past issues is almost completed… ⏲