Becoming Human Again

Welcome back all. Here is Digitally Literate, issue #324.

I spent as much of my time offline as possible this week. I’m slowly turning part of my garage into a makerspace. More info to come soon. 😉

I hope you and those around you are well.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Reach out and say hello at hello@digitallyliterate.net.

Merci! by Christine Rabette

Written and directed by Christine Rabette, Merci! is a beautifully simple film set on the Metro, where laughter his hard to come by.

Also known as The Laughing Bodhisattva, it stars Jan Hammenecker as an everyday man who is about to change the day for everyone else on his train carriage.

TikTok Was Designed for War

Ukraine is not the first social media war—but it is the first to play out on TikTok. The 2011 Arab Spring was fomented and furthered on Twitter and Facebook. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plays out online, TikTok’s design and algorithm prove ideal for the messiness of war—but a nightmare for the truth.

If Facebook is bloated, Instagram is curated, and YouTube requires a shedload of equipment and editing time, TikTok is quick and dirty—the kind of video platform that can shape perceptions of how a conflict is unfolding. And as anyone who’s browsed social media in the last week knows, what happens on TikTok rarely stays on TikTok.

That immediacy and reach comes at a price. Emotive videos can cause people to overlook whether or not information is legitimate. Couple that with an audience that may not posses or choose to enable critical, digital media skills, and it’s a recipe for trouble.


You don’t need to post through a crisis

As we look to livestream the world, decorum has definitely been lost.

Kate Lindsey and Nick Catucci talk about the pressure some of us feel to say something when society is presented with a crisis.

Maybe this all comes down to how jarring it is to see normal content during a crisis. It is weird to scroll Instagram and see photos of civilian fighters in Ukraine followed by a Reel of someone roller skating to a Saweetie song. But as the online world becomes a comprehensive representation of the offline world, we’ll have to learn to sit with these juxtapositions.

Perhaps we need to learn that just because we can use the Internet as our personal soapbox, we don’t always need to. We also need to give others the space to live and learn as they see fit.


The intriguing link between depression and misinformation

Could depression make people vulnerable to misinformation?

Dr. Roy Perlis and colleagues at the Harvard Medical School designed a survey to explore this possibility, and their findings were recently published in the scientific journal JAMA Network Open.

Results suggest that If we could address depression and anxiety, we could diminish people’s receptivity to misinformation. Efforts to tamp down misinformation typically don’t focus on mental health but instead emphasize the legitimate role of social media, polarization, and political identity. 

Experts in misinformation and mental health may be hesitant to draw a line between the two, fearing that it’ll portray people who believe misinformation as mentally ill, or that it’ll contribute to negative stereotypes of people living with mental health conditions. Perlis is careful to note that endorsing falsehoods isn’t reflective of mental illness.


Becoming Human Again: A Reading List for the Extremely Offline

Think it’s time to get off social media? Here’s some inspiration on going from extremely online to extremely offline.


Can we move beyond food?

I love food. I love to cook. I love finding new foods to try out. I’m definitely interested in all of the buzzworthy culinary pieces to test. I just replaced all of my cookware with cast iron and have burned myself several times seasoning these pieces.

Even with all of this, I’m intrigued by the opportunity to replace meals with a bar, bag, or drink.

As I pack a meal replacement shake or bar in my bag and gobble it down with a cup of coffee on the way to campus…what am I missing?

When we’re in a good mood, we’re more likely to engage in healthy behaviors

Knowing how to encourage healthy behaviors is therefore pretty useful, and much research has been done on what makes them stick.

new study from a Kent State University team, published in Motivation and Emotion, finds participants who generally felt more positive mood were likely to engage in healthy behaviors, while those who felt more negative mood were less likely to engage in these behaviors. 

Sleep, and engaging in these behaviors with someone else may also impact

It is passivity that dulls feeling.

Susan Sontag

Found on Reddit – This award-winning video deserves all the attention.

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