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“We now look at our phones more than we watch TV. This may seem self-evident to those of us who watch TV on our phones, especially we who have repeatedly viewed the Mad Men lawnmower episode on the subway to make commuting less bleak. But we finally have hard data to back up our suspicions: we spend three hours and 43 minutes on mobile devices daily, while only three hours and 35 minutes spent viewing television.
This feels right. We’re always scrolling, often idly and reflexively, at whatever photos, wife memes, and vacation selfies pop up on our feeds, and this is particularly troubling if we already have to be online all day for work. For a while, the more professionally shot, heavily edited, and artfully arranged a photo on my feed was, the more it depressed me. Part of this was jealousy and a desire to have taken it myself. But then I found a mundane haven: a Twitter account called Uninteresting Photographs that offers precisely what its name suggests.
Aesthetically, the account’s photos sink under their own drabness — here’s a stack of folding chairs shot from an ungainly angle, here’s an antiseptic break room with shades of Dunder Mifflin — but mentally, they provide the equivalent of logging off without actually unplugging. The more an image doesn’t resemble the airbrushed, hyper-styled content that I scroll past on Instagram, the sweeter it is to me, like a completely ordinary fleet of clothes hangers or a static shot of an empty computer lab.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."