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Here Are Some Good Pieces to Read Over the Long Weekend

Reflections on love and freedom from two gifted writers

Happy Independence Day to all the American readers, which, presumably, is most of you! Condolences and best wishes to our British friends as they deal with a large-scale election tomorrow.

Many people will be enjoying a particularly long weekend full of hot dogs, fireworks, and summer heat, but one can always use the spare time to catch up on some reading. Here are just a couple of links that I’ve found worthwhile over the last couple days.

The first comes from novelist Tara Isabella Burton, who writes a candid piece on overcoming smartphone addiction in Plough. Like many of us, Burton both wrestles with spending too much time on screens but has also made resolutions to overcome her dependency again and again. This time, though, she has made some simple but powerful changes that are allowing her a deeper level of freedom. However, she also ventures beyond the practical and comments how overcoming screen addiction means more than just putting the phone down. It means adopting a new approach to life, one at odds with the model so aggressively pushed on us in our cultural moment. She writes,

To “break my smartphone addiction,” it is becoming increasingly clear to me, was a nigh-impossible goal, not simply because smartphones are incredibly addictive, but because to combat them required combatting the entire culture they represent. It required, in other words, a change of an entire way of life. It required active, constant refusal to participate in a culture that wanted to pervert my desires for friendship, community, beauty, and fulfillment into a desire for stuff and ease and looking good in social-media photos.

-Tara Isabella Burton, Simple Steps to Combat Smartphone Addiction by Tara Isabella Burton (plough.com)

The second notable piece comes from the thoughtful pen of Freya India, a Gen Z writer who I have especially appreciated over the last couple of months. Freya writes consistently and compassionately on the malaise of my generation, and the steps we might take to move forward. Today, she put out a piece on her Substack channel, “GIRLS,” about how love and romance isn’t dead. She counters the cynicism so pervasive in our day and age, and reminds us that love is in fact real, and that it’s a wonderful thing to find that person who isn’t replaceable with a swipe of one’s thumb. She writes,

Anyone who has felt real love knows it’s not just about the unpredictability of who you fall for, but that they aren’t replaceable. We talk endlessly now about people being exchanged like products, everyone expendable at any moment. Real love doesn’t work that way. Real love is meeting someone and thinking, okay, I’m in trouble here because it’s this person and this person only.

-Freya India, Love Is Worth Believing In – by Freya India – GIRLS (substack.com)

So, there are a couple of links for your long weekend. Let freedom ring!

Peter Biles

Writer and Editor, Center for Science & Culture
Peter Biles graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. He is a prolific fiction writer and has written stories and essays for a variety of publications. He was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma and is a contributing writer and editor for Mind Matters.

Here Are Some Good Pieces to Read Over the Long Weekend