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Essential Journal

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Issue 53 – The Community and Collaboration Issue

A Note from the Editor

So I recently spent the entire month without a phone. It’s a long story. You know the kind. The thirty days long, this-repair-will-only-take-five-days-but-we’ll-then-proceed-to-lose-it kind of  long story. 

With my smartphone offering me an odd collation of over 3,000 contacts spread across (what seems like) just as many apps, the prospect of cutting out all of that noise seemed, at first, cathartic. ‘The book will replace the handset’ I told myself, optimistically. ‘Quick texts to my partner will become lengthy lunchtime conversations’ I mused, naively. ‘Evenings without my ‘feeds’ will make for sounder sleep’ I muttered, lyingly. 

In truth, I just got lost more; awkward silences were even more awkward without the phone to help break up lingering eye contact, and the calibre of conversation was as hit-and-miss as the company in which I found myself. There was also the perpetual state of stagefright in which I found myself, unsure if the person I’d just bumping into in the street already knew I’d lost my phone, or instead thought I’d decided to just ghost them.

But being separated from my phone did grant me a solid thirty days of looking up. And what a sight that was. A dizzy dance of friends and strangers all going about their days together. There’s something to be said for engaging in your surroundings a little more, hanging onto conversations a little longer, and generally relying on your apps a little less. Ironically, there’s an odd sense of interconnectedness and community that emerges when you’re cut off from the digital constructs of your phone.

On that note: this edition of The Essential Journal is dedicated to the celebration of community and collaboration. Enjoy.