- Reflection on my digital addiction: Yesterday I read an article by Cal Newport on digital addiction and although technically it does not bring in any new, groundbreaking revelations, it still has made me reflect on the ways I spend my time. Arnold Bennett, an English writer, claimed way before the arrival of social media (in 1905, to be precise) that our time is "the most precious of possessions." As cliché as it might look and as obvious as it sounds, I think that quite often we forget about this fact. Although, I would maybe adjust it by saying that having "quality time" is the most precious of possessions. Because I do not think that spending two hours on my phone - starting with Instagram, YouTube and my guilty pleasure Just Jared (do not ask, it is a celebrity gossips website), then moving on to The New York Times and more of my other news sources to make it up for my previous online deeds - can be categorised as a quality time. I am not saying that now I will delete all of my social media accounts and I will undertake the 'analogue cure', but I will try to be more conscious about the ways I spend my day, especially about what I do after I come back home after work or uni and think that the only possible way of relaxing is through my laptop and phone. I mean, if our ancestors made it without phones and other digital devices then so can we.
Something that helps is recognizing the extent to which the digital stream has commandeered your attention. (Cal Newport)
- Like it or not, Game of Thrones has changed our television expectations: It does not matter if you have never seen the TV show or if you are a crazy fan. This hit series has forever transformed our criteria when judging TV shows. You can find a good reflection on this topic here.
- Having the digital knowledge apparently matters: This will probably be an interesting fact for those who are interested in media and everything around them so here we go. Recently I have noticed that editors-in-chief, media companies' directors and other high-ranked positions in publishing are undertaken by people having a significant background in digital. Samantha Barry, the editor-in-chief of Glamour, worked before at CNN, being in charge of the cable television's online division - you can read about my adoration of her work here. Similarly, Jessica Pels, the current editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, used to be curating the digital version of Marie Claire, Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan itself (read her profile here, I still do not like Cosmopolitan and never enjoyed it but I find Ms Pels very interesting!). Amy Astley is also aware of the importance of creating relevant print and digital content when overseeing Architectural Digest (read the full interview with her at Forbes). And last but not least, Roger Lynch will become a new global chief executive of Condé Nast that publishes Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair; previously taking care of an internet radio service, Pandora Radio, and an online TV streaming platform, Sling TV. Just few interesting names I want to follow in news to see what they have to offer.
- Why you should (re)read... Roald Dahl: The first time I came across his work was when I read Matilda, a story about a young, brilliant girl stuck with her ignorant parents and idiotic brother. Then I also loved The Witches (I strongly recommend this for readers of any age, a heartwarming read ). But that's about it. I've heard that his short stories for adults can have rather cruel, unexpected turns and I've never had the need to read one of them. But then I bought one of PenguinUK editions titled Innocence and I have fallen in love with Dahl's writing all over again. He reflects on his childhood in England and in Norway, growing up in a private school ruled by a headmaster that uses a cane to punish his students (no surprise that Dahl can seem sometimes unnecessarily cruel in his writing, learning about his background), and about joining Shell company and travelling to Africa. Plus the edition also features Dahl's four short stories, with the turn in "The Landlady" taking my breath away while "Lucky Break" helping me to realise why writing a book feels so magical. To sum it up, sometimes it is nice to leave the contemporary fiction behind and reach for one of the classics. This time try something by Roald Dahl. You can't make a mistake with him.
- And finally, my new favourite TV show: The Bold Type... I can be rather picky when deciding on a new TV show - I do not want something too long (more than 40 mins per episode can be a deal breaker), not something completely mind-numbing (sorry, Modern Family, New Girl and The Big Bang Theory, we had some good times together but it is really time to move on) or super intense with all its complicated characters and plot-twists (hello, House of Cards, you were fun the first season but then it just got too much). The Bold Type is about three girls working for a magazine, trying to deal with their everyday lives, work, sexuality, religion and more. I am not saying it is a cutting-edge series but the characters are not stupid nor flat, the episodes can be funny but also reflect on some pressing issues such as rape or islamophobia without sliding into cliché situations, and overall it helps me to relax after work (hoho, am I contradicting myself here after what I have to say about my digital addiction at the top of this article?!) but it can also force me to go and do something instead of hanging around. So yeah, have a look. You can stream it on Amazon Prime. (Note from April 25, 2019: Well, I have to admit that it was only the first season of the show that really got me, but following seasons two and three, I have lost my interest... Although the topics depicted on the show are still relevant, the characters have become rather annoying and childish, at least in my opinion.)