With Uncommon's 4th birthday and the 150th dispatch arriving later this month, I asked a few members to be part of the celebration and share what this community means to them. Jenn wrote about when she joined just a month ago and Drew shared his experience as a founding member. This week, Jenny (@lennyjam) writes about what first brought her to Uncommon.
I was first drawn to Uncommon through a period of unconscious research into the slow web movement in 2013.
Feeling tired of my job as digital project manager at a production house, I got caught up in a small 'existential' conflict and needed to reaffirm that what I did had some sort of meaning after all. It's about the WHY behind the 'pressure and clamorous insistence of the digital world', as Drew put it last week.
Obviously we can argue that it just takes discipline to balance oneself in the mass digital network and that we should be selective about what we want to interact with. Uncommon is right there though, an oasis. Each dispatch is a reminder that we have options - we can go with the flow and be engaged with everyone and everything, which is not without fun sometimes. Or, we can re-anchor our engagement with the online community by reading a nicely curated email. There's the opportunity to just hit reply when we feel like it and contribute to humble discussions. It feels natural and offers a glimpse of the community’s offline existence.
The Uncommon community retains some amount of anonymity, but isn’t without names. We don’t get the perverted satisfaction from nosing around Facebook, but we get the opportunity to learn about other people's ideas and feelings. It's a bit like corresponding with an old friend by snail mail. The slowness in the act itself allows time to ponder.
Speaking of snail mails, my friend R and I have been writing each other since she moved to sunny California and me to capricious London in 2007. I mailed her my Uncommon invite as I know she enjoys good reads and her mind is full of clever observations and thoughts, like many in the Uncommon community. Uncommon is like that brilliant neighbourhood café, a hidden gem I want to celebrate with many but am reluctant to do so :)
Your spot on the front porch
A huge thanks to everyone who has joined recently. It's such a treat to welcome new people to our community. Just last week, I mailed a welcome envelope to a member who joined from Italy, our 20th country!
We'd love for you to join us on the front porch. Each member makes this possible. A truly uncommon neighborhood awaits you.
The last dispatch asked, What was your first car?
My first car was a Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen that I shared with my siblings. We called it the Dragon Wagon and there was one rule: no shaggin' in the Dragon Wagon. My sister broke that rule. Rude.
My first car was a silver Honda Accord and I had a lot of fun with it. It probably wasn't the best first car for me to have because all I wanted to do was push the limits, but we both survived, so I guess it wasn't that bad of an idea. My school was at the bottom of a windy canyon and every day I would race down it to get to class because I was always running late, but also because it was exhilarating to go so fast. I didn't really realize what a nice car it was until I got my second car, which was a crappy little Ford Escort that struggled to get to 80mph. My car now is somewhere in the middle and it serves me perfectly, but I still remember fondly that little Accord.
Enjoy the rest of the wonderful replies, including the story of a 1981 Pontiac Bonneville named Maurice. If you're freshly inspired, add your own!
Table for Six: Birthday Edition
Uncommon’s birthday is June 26, so let’s celebrate 4 years of this one-of-a-kind community with Table for Six conversations! We’ll gather together on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 to enjoy the company of friends near and far.
If you haven’t joined one yet, Table for Six is a telephone conversation (yes, really!) with your Uncommon neighbors. Each is a unique and inevitably awesome experience. If you'd like to take part, just reply and we'll share the details.
What was the first trip you took by yourself?