L~C                 Work         Bio        Stories        Contact

This is a collection of short stories that examine our complicated relationship with technology.

August 10, 2019

“I’m having trouble connecting with the internet. Take a look at the help section in your Alexa app.”

This was how the weekend began. I went on a trip with friends from the city of Seattle to the small town of Ocean Shores–a rural part of Washington state, where the internet costs $150/month, and the cell signal crawls up to one, maybe two, bars.

We had brought a cute, portable Amazon Echo device on this trip with the purpose of playing music, but we didn’t have access to the internet. Alexa continued to alarm us, but not help us.

“I’m having trouble connecting with the internet. Take a look at the help section in your Alexa app.”

“Alexa, stop.”

In the midst of our breakup with Alexa, we looked over and saw an old Denon radio, sitting lonely on a bookshelf, likely made before we were born.

We turned it on.

Heavy metal. Sports. Christian music. Polka? This was the local soundscape of Ocean Shores–an amusing, discorded cacophony, that strangely brought us back to the present moment of where we were.

“Alright everyone, thanks for listening, and with that, I’m out like a belly button.” Even the DJ had his own locally weird quirks.

After listening for about 10 minutes or so, my friend laughed and remarked, “I like this connection we’re getting with Ocean Shores.”

Connection. What an interesting choice of words. There we were, sitting in a room with no connection to the internet–yet because of this–we were experiencing a deeper connection to Ocean Shores.

When we travel, we now see our trips through the lens of cameras and filters, likes and comments. What if we turned it all off and tuned in with the surrounding environment? What would we see?

What would we hear?


August 5, 2019

This morning, a friend told me a story.

He was at a restaurant and saw a man sitting at a table, reading a printed newspaper, disoriented and disheartened by the recent news in the US.

The man decided to start a conversation about it, as a way to process the event.

“I can’t believe what happened in El Paso. This is difficult to read.”

My friend took a heavy breath. He couldn’t find the words to tell the man that a second shooting in Dayton had just occurred.

The man didn’t know about it yet, because he was reading from the printed newspaper.

The internet grants us immediate access to the latest, breaking information. But is this immediate access disrupting our ability to process each moment?

When we process, we feel. And when we feel, we act.

How can we reshape technology in a way that honors the human need to process, feel, and act?