If Nils Frahm Can Do It, So Can I I woke up this morning to a newsletter from one of my favorite music labels, Erased Tapes. Still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I read the headline: Nils Frahm… withdraws himself from social media. I lay back in my bed and smiled. I discovered Nils’ music in 2010 just after I moved to Berlin (for 2 years). In winter I would walk through the cobblestone streets, thick with sleet, listening to his album Felt. I was immediately transported. Each piece sounded fresh, heart wrenching and life affirming — an avant-garde brew of modern-classical and electronica that spoke directly to my dislocated spirit. Nils’ music quickly became the soundtrack to my new home. So when Nils announced he was withdrawing from social media this week, I took his message seriously. “Dear friends, This page is soon not going to be active anymore. After giving it serious thought, I have concluded that Facebook will be
and reflections of my late father This weekend marks the 4-year anniversary of my father’s death. Dad died in July 2014
This article has been my most popular piece written for Medium thus far. I suppose it has touched people because of its overall theme: mysteries are bigger than us. I do believe people want to feel more connected to the universe. ‘Our’ world and the societies we have built, are becoming faster, more stressful and we seem to be losing our ability to truly connect with each other in a meaningful way. Perhaps we should stop glaring down into our screens and cast our eyes up into the night sky. Who knows what we’ll discover.
And why our healthcare system isn’t helping We had a deal. Had created a system for when she was feeling ‘under the weather.’ In fact, it was a code for when she felt suicidal, a simple text message that used a hurricane category scale system. If Grace was feeling blue but it wasn’t too serious, it was a Category 1. Winds were picking up and there might be some falling debris, but usually some music or a silly movie could calm things down. If it was a Category 2 or 3, I’d start to worry. Sometimes she’d text: Category 2 … I think, maybe worse. Definitely strong. And I’d wait to hear back, hoping her foundations wouldn’t be ripped from the earth, all the while knowing she was in a dangerous sway towards a free-fall. Often a hot chocolate and a long chat would do the trick, and I would feel a swell of relief that she was stable, calm and safe.
Why you should give up the need for validation You want to be popular, you want people to like you and that’s completely normal. Maintaining a healthy self esteem is vital. In fact, it’s becoming even more important as our society grows ever more competitive. And yet, the race towards popularity comes with some adverse side-effects, such as depression, alienation and anxiety. Being ignored can be just as painful as being rejected, and it’s exactly why external validation has become the latest ‘psychological drug,’ administered online by trained App Developers. Your self image is exactly what fuels social media companies. It’s why they re-purpose language (like, follow, friend, love) and it works perfectly — for them. They understand that people have a need to control painful feelings and prove their worth. It’s why you make posts, it’s why you upload selfies to Instagram, and it’s why you use social media in the first place — to be seen, to have a voice, and to