The growing divide among us

The war in our digital backyard, a new image search, fighting for democracy, and on fake influencers

Hi friend,

Another week, another series of hate-crimes against Asian elders. Ugh. Even after media coverage, countless new attacks spring up instantly. While local and national media is still catching up to the anti-Asian hate crimes, it seems to be quickly overshadowed as soon as another calamity occurs.

(Sidenote: May Texans get the help & justice they deserve.)

On paper, we should be celebrating. The GDP of the United States is projected to increase by 4.4% this year (Conference Board) and 3.3% for the rest of the world (World Bank).

Yet, the quality of our life is not improving. The average life expectancy in the US has plateaued since 2014 and suffered a steep decline in 2020. (Stat News)

The growing dissatisfaction in our personal lives and with our government has also started to tear our communities apart.

From political ideologies (bipartisan wars), healthcare choices (vaccination and masks), and even liberal progressivism (cancel culture), various perspectives meant to radically improve our communities have turned into battlegrounds. Social media has accelerated this fissure with its dynamic feeds and curation tools, constructing our own echo chamber.

We've crafted our own digital worlds, with its own communities, with its own manageable problems in an escape from the cruel reality that exists around us. Anytime our world becomes disrupted, we begin our purge to protect utopia.

Block. Mute. Delete.

Sometimes, we implode inward and delete our entire world, hoping that a reset will bring peace to the calamity around us.

Our next war was never on foreign land. It was within our own digital backyard. We fear repeating history, yet we continue to further divide ourselves.

In the case of Trump and the GOP, the real war is not the bipartisan battle. It is the inability to find common ground and resolution with one another as humans.

In the case of anti-Asian hate crimes, the real war is even greater than racism. It is the inability to create a shared vision together, that addresses both immediate and long-term solutions.

We are rooted in the belief that there is always a common enemy that we are fighting against. This enemy vs. hero narrative is quite intoxicating.

If we have an enemy, then we must be the hero. For as long as the enemy exists, then we must be good.

However, if we can never let this narrative go, we will continue to construct targets for as long as we exist.

Our salvation is dependent on us breaking out of this cycle - to unite as humankind, especially with those we may not agree with. It is to create a middle path, where there were once two.

There is no enemy or hero.

There is just us.

My big takeaway this week is to lean more into those bravely creating middle ground. In the case of anti-Asian hate crimes, looking at activists who are bringing various solutions together and centering their work on fostering collaboration. I’ve become much more cautious of blindly following those who *think* they have the solution… but in actuality, their quips are better as soundbites or titles of books.

Note: in the case of murder, violence, rape, etc. I will always stand by the need to protect everyone's freedom to life. Beyond that, the challenge becomes finding common ground with those who have intolerant beliefs. With education, love, and compassion, perhaps we can break out of generational intolerance that has plagued us for centuries.


What I’m up to

For Clubhousers: Sunday, Feb 21 w/ Dalia Kinsey @ 1p ET- Living Queer & Melanated: Code-switching & authenticity (add me @wakuu and I’ll ping you in)

For queer Asians: Sunday, Feb 21 - Yellow Glitter Sparkes, Gaysian support group

For Asians: Sunday, Feb 28 - Asian American Healing Space

For queer POC: Tuesday, Mar 9 - Digital accessibility masterclass


Better than Pinterest

Same Energy is an image search tool that I’ve become obsessed with lately. Click on an image you like, and continue clicking on relevant images that fit your collection. Machine learning improves recommendations with each input. It's great for artwork and illustrations.

On Myanmar

If you haven't followed the news lately about Myanmar, they are going through a lot. A few weeks ago, the military staged a coup and have detained their former elected democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, former Nobel Prize winner. Now, the internet is being shut down, and democratic protesters are being shot. Follow the story on BBC and CNN.

Fake Influencers

Recommended this interesting documentary on HBO: Fake Famous, which follows the story of three people and the journey of making them Instagram famous. It sheds light on the reality and unreality of social media stardom. Highly recommend.

As always, thanks for reading!

P.S. If you enjoyed this, share or sign up here: mindfulmoments.substack.com

Anything else? You can always hit "reply" to email me directly. 💌

Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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