Let us do a digital detox this season.
The good thing about the digital era is that people are expressing more than at any time before; people are writing, reading and reaching out more than ever. The advantages of digital media are tremendous, especially its exponential effect. Each story has the potential to go viral. Every new idea, product, or trend can reach millions. We can search and find information on anything and everything. The entire globe is simply one click away. On the other hand, digital media bombards us. It makes our lives go much faster, while it eats up our time. You just click to see the news or see your friends, read something, scroll down. Then some other topics catch your attention; you surf from one site to another. Suddenly, you realize you have spent a precious hour reading something you will never remember. We are bombarded with so much advertising, politics, causes—and corporate messages that we have trained ourselves to phase out, focusing only on the things we want to look at. Still we struggle with distractions; we keep on jumping from one idea to another as perfect media consumers. This is not the case of the offline medium. Offline what we find are not just the highlights of a story; offline is conversations that get all the way to their conclusions, until all angles are exhausted.
This is the new role of print, that shifted from one of consuming news, to one of broader analysis and in-depth views of the news and events that require more than a post of a few lines to be understood. When TV came out, there was a speculation that radio would die, but that didn’t happen. Media might change forms or technologies, but each one plays a different role in our lives. All media are positive, huge and growing. We have a firm belief that digital and print media should support each other, which is why we are present online, as well as in print. The beauty of using two platforms is that you can have uninterrupted extended focus on valuable content in print, and interact with publications online. Nevertheless, we invite you to demand quality. This season we invite you to question the news on all media and to consider the credibility of the sources.
After all, isn’t quality the most noble form of luxury? In this era, are we getting the same quality of information as before? For example, blogs have added to our public discussions. They allow anyone and everyone to jump in, post, delete posts, change posts, or update posts. They are fluid.
Whereas a story in print, it is there forever.
Many professionals get involved with rigor in the process. Facts are checked. And when there is a mistake, because mistakes do happen, it is there to stay. We have to take responsibility in defining what will become history. There is power in print. There is eternity in print Yes, in the middle of print media’s struggle, three years ago, HOME Magazine was born. An exploration of Lebanon’s heritage is in every issue—Lebanese families, Lebanese artists, Lebanese villages, Lebanese traditions, Lebanese designers, Lebanese businesses. We are documenting Lebanon’s beauty, ensuring that our histories are not lost. Archiving stories of personalities that make us proud in Lebanon and around the globe, immortalizing initiatives that inspire us, that’s what HOME is all about.
As Dr Souad Slim said (page 80), “We don’t memorize history; history memorizes us.” We can be fond of all social media, and we are rightful to do so, but what about our collective memory. What will be remembered after 100 years or 200 years? Can history be drafted from tweets? Can history be drafted from back offices of websites? What would we have without books, magazines and print? Wouldn’t you miss this curated content, carefully handpicked for your taste and enjoyment? Wouldn’t you miss this beautiful object on your coffee table? In your hands, especially if knowing it is environmentally responsible? Aren’t you tired from keeping up with the pace of the digital world? Our addiction is real.
This season, let us rest from our tech dependency, from this information overload, from constant connectivity; let us deepen our dialogue. Enjoy weekends of unplugging and recharging. Step back temporarily. Focus on your connections—with nature, connection with the physical world, with family and friends. Let us teach our teenagers to reconnect offline. Put down your smartphone, smell the jasmine on the fence, the gardenia in your backyard. Listen to your favorite music. Enjoy the touch of paper. Engage with your senses. Be mindful. Hold on to your book; hold on to your magazine; hold on to HOME; hold on to Lebanon. Slow down. It is so precious to be alive.
Patricia Bitar Cherfan
Social Entrepreneur| Founder