“My smartphone is a blithering idiot.” - Jeff Einstein
Welcome to Digital Apostate! My name is Jeff Einstein. I’m a digital media pioneer long ago turned apostate. Here’s my selfie…
Digital Apostate is a partial anthology of contrarian videos, essays, observations and aphorisms penned and produced by yours truly over the past couple of decades. Singly and together they explore what happens to our time and money and freedom in a Brave New Digital World ruled by a state-sanctioned meta-addiction to all things media and all things digital. They explore what happens when addiction emerges — by design — as the default social condition, the rule rather than the exception.
While you’re here, please check out my new feature video, Brave New Digital World: The Revelation — a video manifesto for the 21st century. There’s simply nothing like it anywhere else.
My digital chops date all the way back to 1984, when I authored Einstein’s Computer Guides, the first major how-to book series on personal computers, and co-founded Einstein and Sandom Interactive, the nation’s first digital advertising agency.
My digital career, however, took an abrupt turn in early 2004. That’s when I first identified media addiction as the default social condition with the debut of Einstein’s Corner, a weekly column published in MediaPost’s MediaDailyNews — some years before Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and smartphones ruled the world. A few folks called me prescient back then. Most called me crazy. Story of my life either way.
Of course, today addiction is an all-but-obligatory sidebar whenever the discussion turns (as it almost always does) to smartphones, social media, video games and/or weekend binge viewing. Ironically, many of the same critics who dismissed my observations as merely insane back in 2004 still dismiss them today — only this time as something far worse and far less forgivable: yesterday’s news.
Somehow, near-total denial has morphed into near-total resignation, all in the blink of an eye. A Brave New Digital World is inevitable when social convention surrenders en masse to chemical destiny. My fear is that Mustapha Mond would feel right at home in present day New York City — and no one would notice.
Like the citizens of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, we are undone in the digital 21st century less by the things we hate and fear, and more by the things we love and trust and invite into our homes…
On a personal note, my mission statement herein is profoundly simple: to confront the arrogance and dogma I encounter in my own life, and respond to it with humility, grace and critical thought. Accordingly, I disdain all partisan politics in today’s hyper-politicized and polarized world. Of course no good deed goes unpunished, and — as you might suspect — life as an apostate ain’t always easy, regardless of the religion.
Finally, after all these years, my best advice to you, dear reader, is to seek every opportunity to restore human scale to your own life. Often, that means the deliberate rejection of quantity and convenience for quality and meaning. It means opting for news you get at the dinner table with family and friends instead of news you get by yourself from a screen. It means thinking locally and acting locally first. It means pausing to exhale and unplug on a sabbath day of rest each week. It means kissing your spouse and kids and dog (or gato) good morning before you check your email or social media. It means scheduling your priorities once a week rather than prioritizing your schedule every five minutes.
Want someone truly different and truly entertaining to address your school, civic, religious or business group? I’m a veteran public speaker with hundreds of radio, TV, trade show, university, corporate and community appearances over three decades. Contact me today and let’s talk it over.