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I’m back! It’s been a full month since I last wrote one of these, and I missed it dearly. The last few weeks have involved an increased focus on my job search, the beginning of Spring, and all of my classes deciding to assign a million projects. Unfortunately, that didn’t leave me much time to update my lovely followers about my life. I’m gonna try to get back in the swing of things going forward.

A New Connection

I’m a few months away from the 2 year anniversary of this newsletter. A lot has changed in that time, and the list of things that are the same may be shorter than the list of things that are different. When I began writing this newsletter, it was mainly a chance for me to develop my writing skills. I wanted to keep growing as a writer and not atrophy while I focused on more technical subjects at school. While that did happen, there was so much more to it. I felt more connected to my readers. My conversations with my parents would make us dig deep into the ideas I brought up in my newsletter. When I would speak with my friends from high school who lived out of state, I didn’t feel the need to fill them in on the time in between our interactions.

I’ve been thinking about how different technologies fill the similar needs through time. For many people, the Rolodex was an extremely important piece of technology. Basically a mini-filing cabinet, these devices contained index cards with contact information for different people. It was essentially a phone contact list. For many industries, a person was only as valuable as Rolodex, and the quality of the Rolodex depended on not only who was in it, but also how well those connections were maintained. 

In 2019, it would be bizarre to regularly call random people from your contacts list to update them about your life and make sure they have a good sense of where you’re at in life, right? WRONG. Really, the current state of social media mimics that action. Everything that we share on our feed keeps our followers and friends up to date, but in a much more impersonal way. We sometimes create posts with someone in mind, but when you’re sharing a tweet or a picture there’s not usually that much content involved overall. At its best, Twitter provides half-baked ideas that could be interesting with further exploration and explanation. Instagram can provide great visual inspiration and feeds can be used to find memories, but I don’t feel more connected to the friends I follow on Instagram and Twitter more than the strangers I follow on there.

Although these newsletters are blasted out to several people, each person can very easily opt out by deleting the email without reading it or unsubscribing. To be added to the list, one must subscribe, which doesn’t hold the same social contract of “following back.” I feel freer to express myself more honestly and at length, which feels like a more authentic, human way to interact on the internet in general. When we can have intentionality with how we interact with each other, we can really form our relationships in the ways that we want.

I’ve had a lot of these ideas for a while, but in the past few weeks, four of my friends have started their own newsletters to keep their friends up to date. I’m sure they have their own reasons, but I’m loving the shift in communication. Maybe in a few years, all of our Twitter feeds will be replaced by newsletters and big email chains again. How lovely that would be!
Drops of the Week
where I *drop* recommendations of cool things this week
Article
“How to Quit Your Phone and Change Your Life By … Doing Nothing” by Eric Ducker - another good article about how connectedness is bad. My favorite type of content!
Book
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport - haven’t finished this yet, but it’s a book about a less connected philosophy. Cal’s been talking about this stuff for ages and this book brings it all together.
Playlist
divinity - songs that make me believe in a higher power.
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any comments/concerns or fan/hate mail for me, you know how to reach me (links below). 

Love,
Nikhil
<3

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Nikhil · 325327 Georgia Tech Station · Atlanta, GA 30332 · USA

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