Hey Gollum, put down your smartphone!
Is this how our generation will be remembered? Unable to part with our precious devices? Clutching so tightly to our smartphones, eyes scrolling news and Instagram feeds, we don't even look up?
At the stars, at the leaves ablaze with fire in their annual transition from summer, at the city bus coming full speed toward us as we blindly cross the street?
Forget dying of wonder. Too many of us will die from boredom or despair, enraged at that thing President X or celebrity Y said on social, our heart beats charting the moment by moment outrage that spikes every news hour.
An oasis of good news online.
For over a decade, in spurts, I've imagined an online place to find refuge, to refresh, to feel restored. When I've written things for online audiences it is, in some way, with that in mind.
It may not be possible, or, certainly, can be no substitute for the places of refuge where our souls restore. Places like the Word, or nature that refresh us.
But if outrage and vexation can spill out of the places where people go to click, view and read online, certainly refreshing can exist online too.
This is what I hope to discover with my new project. The Eight Ares (aka 8ares.com, which I borrow from Paul's famous letter to the Philippians) is my way to train my online persona to be fixed on noble things.
I know I'm not reinventing any wheels, and that since the internet was born, people have provided this type of content.
What I have observed is that I, and many others, don't automatically gravitate toward it.
My hope is that 8ares.com is an accessible and simple way to onramp into "the good" each day and to habituate our online selves to consume good news online too.