Tag Archives: Meaning

Write a letter, start a revolution.

Dear reader,

I was talking with a friend I met through a poetry group on Facebook the other day. I was deciding to leave the platform and, as always, he had a novel suggestion. I had asked for his details because I wanted to stay in touch with people off the platform. If you look at my previous post Facebook, what have you done to us?, I decided to leave Facebook for various reasons, ethical, behavioural and psychological. His idea was this: ‘Let’s write a letter to each other’.

I thought to myself how peculiar that was and was meditating on the idea a bit. Why have we stopped writing letters? Well, the clear answer is that the internet does it faster. Sure, the internet has revolutionised communication but is that a good thing?

We used to take time to think and reflect on all the amazing things that happen to us in the weeks and months. Carefully, we’d curate a picture of our lives that showed all the most meaningful experiences we’d had lately in the two-fold process of consolidating and processing it for ourselves, and sharing with others.

I thought about what it would be like to receive a letter that was not about doctors appointments or bills, written in an individual font, addressed to me, the person, not me, the body, number or consumer. I came to the conclusion that writing letters to close ones is probably the most counter cultural, revolutionary thing young people can do in an age saturated by technology, and so coked up on its own sophistication, it’s losing any meaning or value it might once have had.

So here’s my challenge to you. Write three letters this month. Really think about your life and what has happened. Share it with those you care about but don’t see often enough. Tell me in the comments below that you posted it and that you’re taking up this counter revolution against technology. We need to slow down and think at the speed of a letter.

Share this article with friends and family. We’re re-writing the future, one hand-written letter at a time.

Yours Sincerely,

MI

Contact us if you have ideas or would like to share your thoughts on society.

Facebook, what have you done to us?

Facebook has had a good, long life. It started out as a humble networking site on the campus where Mark Zuckerberg studied at Harvard, growing into the largest social media platform today. Humble beginnings perhaps, but where are we now?

Mark Zuckerberg is worth $55 billion, owns snapchat, whatsapp, instagram and various other platforms and technologies. His only remaining competition in the social media realm is Twitter, and it’s not clear how long that will remain the case.

Zuckerberg, having crowded out and monopolised on social networks, is now manipulating and controlling the information we see and the words we can use. According to Jason Lanier, a tech guru from Silicon Valley, social media platforms, by and large, harbour negative biases towards news and content. This means that the worst people and stories rise to the top more quickly than positive content. Not only this, but Facebook, more than ever, has the ability to shut down speech. Reporting content without context is rife and often vindictive. Radicalism, too, hides in shelters behind private groups where users gather to manifest their political malcontent and to be heard by those who will agree with them. Leaving them unchecked often encourages extremism over time.

On an individual and psychological level, Facebook is addictive. It gives you a quick neuro-chemical boost every time you get a like, share, or comment, and reinforces your compulsion to check, to revisit, to waste more of your time than you could ever want to waste. I want to live a life filled with books, music, people, creative design and purpose, none of which the platform can give me, all of which it can take.

Follow MI for an update in a month as to what has changed. Was it worth it to leave? How did my life improve? Can you benefit from taking a leap into the unknown which was once known to us all? Are we the same without social media? If we’re different, how and by how much?

Zuckerberg, I’m going to find out just what you’ve done to us, and how badly we need to reshape our environment outside of your image.

Logging out,

Millennial Intent

3 Minute Book Review – ‘Rude’ – Katie Hopkins

Rude‘ is an eye-opening and inspiring look at a life which everyone has decided is driven by ‘evil’. Crude at times, but (as always) brutally honest, Hopkins takes us from where she began to where she is now. This might better be named ‘The making of Katie Hopkins’, than ‘Rude’, because rudeness really features at the bottom end of the scale. What shines through is honesty, an integrity (which at times has cost her dearly) and boundless ebullience. You wouldn’t believe the trials Katie faced to get where she is today, and the struggle has shaped everything she does now. Knowing you might have less than two years to live, having seizures every night from a brain tumour that’s killing you slowly, and making a huge number of personal mistakes, would make anyone with courage into a Hopkins. Why we give her so much crap for it I will never understand.

Anyway, once you read ‘Rude’ and understand the foundations that built the person we see today, it all makes sense. In a way, not only does this book make for an interesting insight into someone you might not necessarily understand, it is also a humbling experience. What so many of us think of as ‘hardship’ is relative. Katie drags you into the depths of yourself to consider your moral fibre. What should I be doing with my life? How important is it to say what I really mean? How can I learn from my mistakes?

Life is not everlasting. We could all reflect on our own laziness and life-inertia, and learn how to be people of action by listening to the wisdom of a life lived in the fast lane. So fast, in fact, that this book encapsulates the feeling you get before you go over your bike or crash a car. This book is the essence of a ‘life flashing before your eyes’ and ‘Rude’ will make you reflect deeply on how to make yours count as you consider the time you have left.