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Pick up the Phone, It’s Your Long-Lost Friend Jeanette with an Urgent Message about Your Terrible Relationship with Social Media

Hi, it’s Jeanette, yes, from years ago. I know it’s been a while, but I just had to call. I’ve kept quiet for too long, so I’m going to come out and say it. Your relationship with Social Media sucks. First of all, my dear, he is a liar. He tells you that you have […]

Lay Down Your Weary Smartphone

Before there was Seinfeld, there was Cheers—a 1980s comedy about the lives of bartenders and regular patrons of a local pub. The show is famous for its lovable and deeply flawed cast of characters that spanned over 11 seasons. Now almost 30 years later, the jokes mostly hold up. But viewers today will readily note […]

Alone Together In One Body and Spirit

Finding Forms of Fellowship Right Now

On Things I Thought I’d Never Say, like God Bless the Internet!

Glorious Memes and Online Blessings

God of Progress, Slow Us Down

The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future. – Frank Herbert, Dune In his essay “After the Storm,” author Ben Ehrenreich investigates the concept of progress. It’s in the air, he argues, so elemental we don’t always know we’re breathing it. “We are in thrall,” […]

Very Superstitious: The Human Propensity for Faith in the Unseen

“We make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.” – William Shakespeare A couple of months ago, Julie Jargon wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal called “My Baby Monitor Is Haunted,” about a number of parents who have witnessed paranormal activity from the […]

Text Message for the Otherworld

When I was in school, Facebook was young. One evening, I saw a dead classmate’s profile, his picture featured on the sidebar, a recommended friend. I spent the next hours perusing the status updates he had posted when he did not realize his days were numbered. For anyone wondering, now Facebook has an answer for […]

Are Friends Electric? And Is Grace Digital?

This one’s especially for Andy, Anna, Blake, Caleb, Chris, Jeff, Kristin, Nathan, Reed, and Trevor. It seems like a hilariously ironic turn of Providence that I who have been so deeply suspicious of connectivity through electronic media and its pernicious (albeit often unintended) consequences should find the friends I am most in touch with, most […]

I Deleted My Social Media and Didn’t Tell Anyone (Except You)

I deleted all of my social media accounts a month ago and I didn’t tell anyone.  Well, two qualifications. First, I deleted LinkedIn (honestly, I don’t remember ever signing up for LinkedIn) and Twitter, but I only deactivated Facebook and Instagram because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and I haven’t downloaded […]

The Human Is Very Important Right Now

At the soup kitchen where I accidentally volunteered for a couple of years, the following exchange happened more than once. Observing the guests at plastic fold-up tables, a volunteer would whisper what we’d all at some point wondered. “How do they afford it? Who pays for these phones?” Ostensibly low-income, possibly homeless, the guests were […]

Why Microsoft’s Super Bowl Ad Won’t Leave Me Alone

This one comes to us from Ed Uszynski. It will be pretty easy to forget Super Bowl LIII, its halftime show, and its commercials, as none of the three produced much inescapably memorable drama. But the Microsoft ad touting its XBox Adaptive Controller is proving surprisingly harder to shake simply because I moved from initially hating it […]

New Parties for the Age of Social Media

Who actually flies to Vegas for a bachelor party? I’m not being mean or judgmental here. I really want to know. Who has that kind of money to spend on a friend? I mean, if you’re living in LA and Vegas is only 4 car hours away, make like The Hangover and have a good (and […]