Jared White Photo of Jared

Expressively publishing on the open web since 1996.
Entranced by Portland, Oregon since 2017.



Support Structures for the Extremely Online

I am what some folks might call Extremely Online. I’ve certainly wrestled with this at times, and there have been moments when I feel the need to pull back from incessantly scrolling through whatever timeline is in vogue (for me these days that’s Mastodon) and commenting with meme GIFs.

But I’ve come to accept my fate. Furthermore, this is something I’m good at. Yes that right, I’m good at internetting (for better or worse). What I’m not so good at is occasionally dipping my toe into the water of being Extremely Offline.

Intentionally going offline is vital to my mental health (and yours too). For some people that might not prove such a huge issue as they have family ties or other social commitments IRL to attend to. For me though—except for the times I’m actively involved in playing with/supervising/teaching/going on adventures with my kids—I’m basically a single (divorced) dude who remote works, quit attending church years ago, and whose extended family all live out-of-state.

If I’m going to have a social life apart from opening up yet another chat window, I need to wrangle my own support structure out of thin air.

And so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this spring and summer. I’ve had to push myself—force myself some days—to get out there and Meet Real People. It doesn’t always come naturally to me, but I’m always glad when I do it.

Shout out to Meetup which—despite a rocky road these past few years first being acquired by WeWork and then being let go among all the zaniness there—still seems to be going strong and providing an excellent way of discovering groups of people IRL doing interesting things.

I’ve gone on hikes, focused on writing alongside fellow artists and creatives, laughed it up playing a wacky party game at a dinner event, and, yes, hung out with some local techies too. I’ve also been keeping an eye out for festivals or other fun community activities I might participate in. What will I be up to next? Who knows!

Having the sense of a local support structure apart from pixels on a screen, being able to look fellow humans in the eye and make a genuine emotional and intellectual connection, is something I simply don’t take for granted. Having lived through a pandemic and been Extremely-Extremely Online for weeks or even months at a time (most of 2020 is simply a blur to me, I can’t remember WTF I was even doing), a couple of hours of levity over a beer or walking along a forest path pointing out a grand vista or a word of encouragement from another creator in the room…these are moments I treasure. And I can’t wait for more.

If you feel like you need more of a support structure where you live, what’s that single first step you might be able to take today?


The Three Vital Landmarks Along the Road to Success

There was a time not long ago when my life was in a major upheaval. Signs of online success were slim to none. I wasn’t sure if anyone out there would really care if I were suddenly Thanos-snapped out of existence. Yet the valuable lesson I came to learn during that dreadful time was how to become intrinsically motivated, the significance of value creation, and the trick of cultivating T-shaped skills.

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An essentialist examines their life not only to clear out the non-essential obligations and clutter and bad habits and so forth in an attempt to simplify and focus. That’s all good, certainly. But the ultimate goal is to orient your life such that when opportunities arise which are squarely in your sights for the lifestyle you most desire, you are in the perfect position to give an emphatic YES. In other words, dreams don’t come true just by happenstance. You’ve got to prepare the way.

#lifehacks #minimalism

High-Resolution Image

‪Just a suggestion: don’t smash that bell thingy, don’t subscribe, don’t name the third item you ate for lunch and that’s your spaceship name, don’t play the social media game.‬

‪Instead, sign off and go make your own art.‬

#creativity #lifehacks

First-world problem alert:

My freelance web agency has so much work right now, I’m sort of reeling trying to determine the best way to manage it all. I’ll have to bring all of my timeboxing and lifehacking skills to bear in order to avoid feeling like a trainwreck by Friday.

It’s a good problem to have right now with my business, but…boy oh boy do I have my work cut out for me! 🤪 Wish me luck…

#lifehacks #finance

If you’re like me and you spend a lot of time using digital devices to get work done and manage your routine (finances, job, creative projects, etc.), it’s important to take some time now and then to engage in “tidying up” your files, apps, and cloud services. Yes, the wisdom of Marie Kondo can apply not just to the stuff in your closet or on your desk, but the stuff in your computer or tablet or phone as well. That’s going to be a big focus for me this month, starting today! #lifehacks

I don’t have time to do a whole write up, so here’s the gist of it: since I’m no longer using #Facebook to share family photos, I wanted to find a way to create a password-protected photo gallery. After some research, I tried out SmugMug. It works great! For only a few dollars a month, I can upload and present photos far more beautifully than I ever could on social media, it’s secure, and it’s ad-free. Simply perfect and just in time for the holidays. Now I can email or text the link & password to family and friends, and we’re off to the races. 👍
#openweb #lifehacks

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