Some Sunday Stuff: September 29th.
Look, we’re obviously so busy and laser-focused on work and stuff. So busy we had to pose for a timed selfie, of course.
How did I get here? I don’t mean here-here (I’m currently at a Barnes & Noble Cafe sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte because it’s September and I’m basic), I mean here like I haven’t blogged for almost SIX MONTHS! Gah! When I initially lazed out, it felt a bit freeing. Homeschooling Z has gotten quite a bit harder and takes up a significant amount of time. Regrouping, division, and fractions are more challenging for me to teach than for her to learn, I’m sure. So when I stopped blogging at the end of March, it was one less thing to do. Recently though, I’ve been bothered by my not doing it…. which brings me, now we, here. So let’s get to it, shall we?
First, let’s go to The Cut for this totally snarky and hilarious piece by Marisa Meltzer called “The Unfluencers”:
Here is an hour of my life I lose every day to Instagram. It’s always alone, usually after dinner or sometimes during middle-of-the-night bouts of insomnia, and reaches some kind of crescendo, like ordering $30 shoe inserts that promise to make high heels less painful (so convincing in the ad!) or doing a deep dive into this woman who is an ex of a friend of someone I grew up with. She posts stills of outfits from The Talented Mr. Ripley and odd, witchy-looking grapes. For this, she has around 20,000 followers. I become one of them.
At first, I’m just curious about the logistics of her life. There seems to be an inspiring amount of #influencer content that doesn’t really align with her follower reach. She tags every single item of her clothing like she’s a starlet at a premiere. There’s a lot of content: sweaty gym selfies as an excuse to show off her abs, golden lattes, dinner with “the girls” at Pastis, lines like “I just took a DNA test, it turns out I’m 100% that bitch,” tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint, so many pictures of tiles during a trip to Lisbon (“my office for the week,” “I live here now”).
It all starts to grate, and soon my follow has officially turned into a hate-follow. Her feed is turning me off to things I once loved, like No. 6 clogs and Patagonia fleeces. Eventually, I’m closing my eyes and rubbing the bridge of my nose — which I do only when I really can’t handle life — and whispering to my phone, “No, don’t ruin Negronis for me, too.”
Meet the unfluencer, the person who makes me want to do the opposite of whatever she’s doing and throw out whatever I already own that she has posted about.
It might come down to the narcissism of small differences. I sleep on linen sheets and occasionally make oat matcha lattes with a special whisk and don’t feel the need to chronicle it, which makes me feel irrationally superior. But why is the unfluencer posting like it’s her job even when it’s not? Does she think she looks good in all those jumpsuits, or does she keep posing in them because she likes the comments? Is she just angling for free stuff? And then my mind wanders to the macro questions: Does the ubiquity of a certain kind of self-regarding taste water down its appeal?
(image via The New Yorker story)
Read the whole thing here. Next up, have you heard of Bullet Journaling? Full confession, I didn’t know this existed until Pinterest decided algorithmically to suggest I should probably be pinning away (and pining for) this new organizational trend. From Anna Russell at The New Yorker:
Devotees of the Bullet Journal, a cultish notebook-organization system tagged in more than eight million posts on Instagram, will tell you that there are two kinds of notebook people: those who keep multiple notebooks and those who keep just one. Most of us are multiple-notebook people, living our lives haphazardly, writing things down as we go: a notebook for the office, another for groceries and appointments, one for dreams and doodles, one for furtive rants. The multiple-notebook person maintains a wall calendar, a desk calendar, and two calendar apps. She has scribbled a list of movies to watch on a sticky note that she will never find again. She has an app full of cryptic asides (“Rice bowls,” “Bat room”). She has no idea where her bank details are. The multiple-notebook person lives in a kind of organizational purgatory. Her intentions are good, her approach delinquent.
(image via Good Housekeeping)
I’m going to break in to note that I am, without a doubt, a multiple-notebook person with no less than three journals (including a sketchbook), a planner, and have several data tracking apps all in various states of use going right now. I’m basically a full shelf of organized disorganization at this point.
Ryder Carroll, the thirty-nine-year-old digital designer who invented the Bullet Journal, used to be a multiple-notebook person. Born in Vienna to American teachers, he was a squirmy, distracted child, constantly behind and anxious in school. As a teen-ager, he was given a diagnosis of attention-deficit disorder, and he began to develop small journaling tricks to get through his classes; in college, at Skidmore, he carried around six notebooks to keep track of everything. He also scrapbooked and made collages. He started writing down his thoughts in short bursts throughout the day and found that it calmed him, allowing him to see past his anxieties to their root causes. “When there’s a barking dog outside, you can’t hear anything else,” he told me recently, by way of analogy. “But when you go to the window you realize there might be something wrong, you think about it, you get the context. It’s barking at something. You actually get up and look. And, for me, writing is that process.”
In the years after college, Carroll took night courses in Web design and worked for media companies, mostly in New York. “That’s when the Bullet Journal really started coming together,” he said. He slimmed down and organized his books. He noticed that many of his co-workers kept journals, too, though they did so irregularly. “I was, like, well, I use my notebook in a pretty unique way,” he said. One week, in 2013, he built a Web site and shot a video explaining his method. He hoped, he said, to “mitigate a lot of the heartache I had to go through to figure this out on my own.”
The result was a set of organizational instructions: Marie Kondo for the notebook. Basically, you take a journal, number the pages, and create an index so you can find everything. From there, you can list tasks, write diary entries, and build out a minimalist calendar. Like CrossFit, Paleo, and other hyper-efficient communities, Bullet Journaling—or BuJo, as it is known online—has developed its own vocabulary. Participants identify as Bullet Journalists. There’s a daily log, a monthly log, and something called a future log. There are symbols for notes, events, and tasks, and additional symbols to indicate when a task has been completed, scheduled, moved to another section, or deemed irrelevant. (The method takes its name from the bullet point, as well as the word’s suggestion of speed.) There are collections of related material, like languages you’ve failed to learn or miles you haven’t run. There are trackers for anything you feel compelled to track: sleep, workouts, mood, alcohol. Each day, you practice “rapid logging.” Each month, you review everything you wrote down and move only what is meaningful to the next monthly spread, in a spine-straightening process called migration.
Carroll’s video was picked up by productivity blogs and soon went viral. A few years later, Bullet Journaling has grown into a global community, with subsets of every variation: BuJo for students, BuJo for mothers, BuJo for veterans, #menwhobullet. It has taken off on the Internet as a kind of mindfulness-meets-productivity trend that equates organized journaling with an ordered interior life. It promises to help you achieve your goals and declutter your mind. Carroll released a book, last October, called “The Bullet Journal Method,” which is now a best-seller. He no longer uses multiple notebooks (and he no longer needs other jobs). “It’s helpful to have one source of truth,” he said. “That’s what the Bullet Journal is for me.”
Meaning. Mindfulness. Marie. We’ve got a full blown thing. Read more about the BuJo method here. Moving on, I’m really liking this list of the top cultural influences of the Millennial generation over at Rolling Stone:
(Pictures of Millennial goodness/craptasticness, your choice, via Google Images)
What defines a millennial? We’ve been called “Generation Me” for our presumed narcissism and the “Peter Pan Generation” for our delayed adulthood. We’ve been accused of killing entire industries, like department stores and chain restaurants. But the only thing that may really define a millennial is that we’re indefinable. For people born between 1980 and 1995, our lives have been marked by some of the fastest-moving shifts in the world’s economy, political landscape and culture. We were radicalized by profound tragedies like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, as well as the never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were stung by the financial crisis in 2008, just as many millennials began to enter the workforce — and we’re still feeling the fallout. And, of course, we’re the last generation to witness life before and after the dawn of the Internet age.
The push into an all-digital world has been key to how we’ve grown, matured and consumed the world around us. From the early days of blogs and instant messaging through the arrival of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we’ve been sharing our lives. Companies like Napster, iTunes and Spotify, Amazon, Netflix and Hulu have democratized entertainment, giving us more choices than ever before. We’re millions of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings, effectively raised on the idea that everything we want can, should and will be available at the click of a button.
At times, this deluge of culture and content feels splintering. Even the difference between “younger” and “older” millennials can seem vast. Those with stronger memories of a pre-digital era feel more grounded in shared experience with our predecessors in Generation X, sometimes longing for the existence of monoculture, while Nineties babies relate more to the faster-paced, still-forming culture of Generation Y, embracing streaming as both a lifestyle and a preference. That divide even within our own generation, and the way millennials have responded to the rapidly changing world we’ve inherited, means we’ve been blamed for the loss of many experiences. We don’t have the same appetite for post-recession luxuries — like diamonds and mortgages — and are threatening to make even smaller indulgences — like albums and movie theaters — obsolete.
Read the rest and check out the list here. And I’m curious- do you agree with Rolling Stone? Do you think they missed something? Please let me know. Since I’m in the mood for some 90’s nostalgia, watch this Allure video for some of the top trends from 20 years (or more!) ago.
You couldn’t tell me that big, hairsprayed curls a la Mary J. and brown lip liner wasn’t it in high school! LOL. Okay, let’s wrap this post up with a little bit more 90’s- Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose”, the absolute best thing from the embarassment that was “Batman Forever”. Have a great week, Friends, and I’ll be trying to post more. And enjoy PSL’s responsibly.
We took multiple selfies. Sigh. Anyway, my Z is getting huge. Double sigh.
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