#115: Everything in Its Right Place

I’ll never forget where I was when I found out Kobe Bryant died two weeks ago: in front of my computer, scrolling through Twitter. Recalling one’s exact surroundings at the moment we received shocking news is a familiar phenomenon, but lately I’ve found these memories growing more homogenous if I remember them at all, increasingly anchored in one screen or another (if I’m lucky I’ll remember where the screen and I were located). A decade ago when Michael Jackson died, I was on a bus in Chicago; a fellow passenger simply announced the news to all the surrounding strangers, turning the last five minutes of my ride into an impromptu collective grieving session as the text messages started rolling in on whatever non-smartphone I had then. But news hits different now, of course. As more activities, interactions, and information streams move to digital space, screens are how we access them, and while the benefits of this transition are significant—everything from banking to shopping to communicating with loved ones is more convenient and efficient than ever—the cost is that a greater share of lived experience becomes subliminal and unmemorable, divorced from its context and thrown into an entropic slurry with everything else where it just flows by incessantly.

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