Moments Of Synchronicity
Cartoonist James Sturm has been on an Internet fast since April. A recent journal entry examines his experiences with searching, waiting and coincidental events.
Cartoonist James Sturm has been on an Internet fast since April. The four month experiment was designed to examine his growing dependence and involvement with the net, and see what life would be like without it.
In a recent entry in his Slate journal about this challenge, Sturm delivers an interesting meditation on moments of synchronicity, and how the Internet may prevent them from happening:
In the two months since I’ve been unplugged, I have been experiencing more and more moments of synchronicity—coincidental events that seem to be meaningfully related. Today, after finishing the first phase of a graphic-novel project that is based on the life of a fictional member of the Weather Underground, I received in the mail an unsolicited copy of a graphic novel about teaching written by William Ayers. Earlier in the week, at the exact moment I started working on a drawing of a monkey (see above), Michael Chabon started talking about Planet of the Apes—I was listening to his audio book Manhood for Amateurs. I know this type of magical thinking is easily dismissed, but I keep having moments like this. So how do I explain it? Are meaningful connections easier to recognize when the fog of the Internet is lifted? Does it have to do with the difference between searching and waiting? Searching (which is what you do a lot of online) seems like an act of individual will. When things come to you while you’re waiting it feels more like fate. Instant gratification feels unearned. That random song, perfectly attuned to your mood, seems more profound when heard on a car radio than if you had called up the same tune via YouTube.