Alone in a Crowd

Written by Amara Hartman.
Part 1 of 2. Read part 2 here.

There are more ways than ever to connect with each other. It’s hard to imagine an era when people awaited the arrival of their correspondence strapped in saddle bags. Longhand letter writing is a charm of a bygone time, and any small sect of people who still try to keep it alive appreciate it for its purity. There aren’t any of the trappings of modern communication. No visible friend counts, gifs, or emojis. Nothing flashy driving the want to stay in touch except suspense and imagination. Even email’s been leveled to one-liners or co-opted by instant messengers like G-chat and Skype. Blogs are popularized by purveyors of trends who want to teach you a lifestyle: how to wrap an infinity scarf or create a refreshing grapefruit spritzer.

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And in the middle of it all stands the behemoth social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat have all morphed from handy tools to actual propellants of our culture. Tweets are regularly featured in the news. Emojis stand in for text within text. We get what the peach and eggplant mean–a far cry from actually having to woo someone into liking you in the first place, much less into your pants.

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With this insane glut, like Augustus Gloop stuffing chocolate in his face, one of the last things anyone would describe an average American as is lonely. It’s a natural conclusion that the more interactions you have, the less you’re alone. In a society of likes, followers, and subscribers, it’s hard to imagine anyone feeling stranded in a hollow abyss of loneliness.

Continue reading “Alone in a Crowd”

Updates

Hello out there! I hope you’re all enjoying this spring weather! The sun is finally shining for longer than two hours here in Minneapolis, so I’m pretty happy. We’ve also got some new stuff around here to make you happy, as well. Check it out! ☀️

  • Nonprofit work has shed its image of just glorified volunteerism. And, it’s a popular career choice for women. Our feature article looks at the valuable work nonprofits do and how women can contribute to their community.
  • Little Dragon drops savvy disco-electronic sound with their latest album, Season High. Read a review written by our new guest writer Casey Holmstrom.
  • Love is real, but people are hard. Our relationship writer Katie Eckhardt wants to talk with you about it. Send your dating questions or thoughts to info@smashupmagazine.com, and we’ll publish a Q & A. You can remain anonymous.

Updates

Wakey, wakey! We’ve got some new items of interest for you!

  • A new excursion down the rabbit hole with a two-part interview about the good and the not-so-good in ourselves.
  • Are you dream happy (think, trigger happy)? Our culture tells us relationships will make us happy, but that’s obviously not always true.
  • A review of the horror movie XX. It’s a unique and thought-provoking anthology that puts a new twist on what’s really scary.

 

Dream Happy

I often preach how I feel people seek romantic relationships for the wrong reasons. It’s not a new perspective to say that our culture approaches romantic relationships through lenses that don’t always show reality–Hollywood, fairy tales, and the ever-revered and elusive “American Dream.” The dream job, dream house, dream income, and dream relationship (eventually ending in a dream marriage).

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The understanding is that this dream will make us happy and that happiness is the only reason for us to do anything at all. It’s become a motivation, carrying over into our relationships. We look for someone who will make us “happy,” but happiness is such a vague and changing thing. It’s shallow.

Continue reading “Dream Happy”