Skimming over the Surface of Our Lives and Missing the Point

A disturbing and all too true assessment of our writing, lives and our times. Read it. Your life depends on it.

A Memoir Is Not a Status Update 

by Dani Shapiro

On the absence of depth, insight and hard won wisdom in today’s writing.  From the New Yorker.

Turn off your phone and computer and read, think, reflect tonight. Maybe even write something surprising and lasting (wink).

You have the time. Don’t kid yourself. Use it.





About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
This entry was posted in Literature, Reading, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Skimming over the Surface of Our Lives and Missing the Point

  1. lahowlett says:

    So true. I’m amazed at what people will ‘share’ on Facebook and other social media that is so very personal. I’ve never been able to do that and I don’t plan on starting now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. insaneowl says:

    Ma’am, Thank you for sharing this post. 🙂


    • Thanks. I hope people do really *click on the article* and READ it, not just “like” my reference to it. That would be just another superficial reflexive flick of the finger and a perfect example of exactly what the article is actually talking about: a simple-minded flash response to a stimulus minus any depth or thought. This short, very direct and personal article cuts to the quick of the issue. It made me squirm. We are all susceptible to this widespread knee jerk, fleeting and dumbed down response because of social media, and to a certain extent we are all guilty of this, no matter how thoughtful and discerning we may be about what is happening. I see it as a very serious mentally and emotionally compromising phenomenon. Seemed like a very timely and important thing to pass along to a wider audience. I fear we are getting dumber, not smarter. We don’t use our brains much on social media. Use it or lose it, you know!

      Liked by 1 person

      • insaneowl says:

        I read the original article and retweeted it. It has a wealth of truth in it. It is only personal suffering wh

        Liked by 2 people

      • insaneowl says:

        I meant it’s only personal suffering and experience which makes our writing and sharing more relevant. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Right. A life reduced to isolated out of context trivia and minutiae does not add up to much or make much sense, let alone convey truth and meaning. Twitter and Facebook vacuum brains of context, I fear, and the ability to see the big picture. All they do is feed the insatiable psychological human need for recognition and “approval.” It’s an infantile impulse adults are supposed to shed. They are fake “strokes” from false “friends; they fail to satisfy and they work on the mind like a bad habit forming drug. They cause a kind of psychological regression, IMHO.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s