Editor’s Diary: Blurred Lines

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum

Stuart has seen his world through fresh eyes this week…

I had a very interesting conversation this week. I was chatting to a fellow journalist about various things, and he made a simple but very accurate comment, which really got me thinking and which I will share now: “We don’t look up enough.”

The context was we were talking about how communication has changed radically this century. In some ways we are more connected than we have ever been. The Internet has meant there are a plethora of ways that we can keep in touch with friends, families and people we work with without the need to be in the same room, city, or indeed country.

As we all know, this was greatly appreciated during the covid pandemic and many of the habits we picked up during the periods of lockdown are things we have held on to ever since. Zoom calls have become the norm for many folk, and it’s hard to argue with the convenience of those kind of things, as well as it providing a vital lifeline for people who struggle to get out for one reason or another.

The strange irony is that although we can get in touch with people easier than ever before, in some ways we have lost that element of human connection – actually being in the same place at the same time. Sometimes it’s easier to just make a video call than it is to travel somewhere. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but there is no doubt it is a massive change compared to what came before.

A Change Of Focus

Our mobile phones have been the game-changer in making communications easier, which gets me back to the above comment – we now spend a lot of time looking down at our phones rather than ahead or up. There’s always something competing for our attention and the ping of notifications has become the soundtrack to our days.

Obviously, there are practical considerations to looking down if you are walking down the street, but generally speaking have you ever found yourself not paying attention to the world around you in favour of what is going on in the little device in your hand? I know I have. Drop me an email at pfeditor@dcthomson.co.uk. I am keen to hear about your experiences.

Views out and about around Dundee

This week I made a point of trying to look up as much as possible, so here are a few pictures of things I saw. Having said that, I took these snaps on my mobile phone, so I suppose I could be accused of looking down as I did so. It’s hard to tell these days – the line between our digital and actual selves is becoming very blurred. Maybe you are already a lot better than me at looking up, but if you are not, I can highly recommend it!

Your Favourite Feature Or Story

I was fascinated to read Fiction Editor Lucy’s blog about previous editors of The People’s Friend. To be one of only 11 people to be in charge of this wonderful magazine is a true honour and it has been great to read about my predecessors in the role. That said, editors are just one of the people who make a magazine tick.

It is really the wonderfully creative team who write and choose the amazing words you read in every issue, as well as the sub-editors, photographers, Illustrators, designers and many other brilliant people who contribute to creating the magazine you enjoy every week.

It got me thinking, do you have a story or a feature that you love more than any other that you have read in the “Friend” over the years? You, our lovely readers, are a vital part of the “Friend” family and, as the 11th and newest editor, I would love to know what has caught your eye and stayed with you over the years. Get in touch on email or on social media and let me know.

Read about Stuart’s search for treasure

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