About a month ago I met one of my friends through Twitter. We met up for coffee a couple times and had some great conversations. An advocate for community & intentional relationships, part of his job is to communicate the vision for Thinking Cup. A coffee shop in Boston that may not have WiFi but provides the best coffee and atmosphere to cultivate conversation. In one of our lengthy discussions about community in the digital age, he introduced me to a magazine called "Kinfolk"
I searched and found the magazine online and purchased the fifth volume. I didn't look twice at the cost after I explored the website. The design alone made me assume the volume was well worth $24. Very simple, clean, and beautiful. It made me become curious, so I made the purchase it without reading anything else about it.
It arrived very unexpectedly today, which was a nice surprise. I opened it up to find 144 pages of beauty. Offset-printed, perfect bound, full color on uncoated paper, printed in the USA. I knew it wasn't something I could just flip through, so I set a plate of cookies & a glass of milk, grabbed my blanket and got comfortable.
WHAT IS KINFOLK
"Kinfolk caters to a growing readership of young artists and food enthusiasts by focusing on simple ways to spend time together.
Each issue combines lyrical essays, recipes, interviews, personal stories and practical tips with a keen attention to design and details. Readers look to Kinfolk as a trusted resource for both enticing and meaningful activities - whether it's a new cooking skill, road trip route, or camping guide, Kinfolk is a blueprint for a balanced, intentional lifestyle."
In an age where everyone tweets about their activities, there is a greater need to appreciate being present in everyday life. Nowhere in Kinfolk do you read about new apps, television shows, or innovative websites. Everything involves human interaction, simply pure community. As someone who wants to pursue social media marketing, this blog post may seem ironic, but I am and have always been very intentional about being present with those in my life. Creating and enjoying experiences worth remembering and not just instagramming. The arrival of this magazine was very timely, and in my opinion I think a lot of people need these words and ideas in their life.
We weren't built to stare at a screen for 12 hours a day. I believe this year print will make a comeback and bring intimacy into more friendships and relationships. For example, Rifle Paper Co. is proving that the age of "Ecards" and "Facebook Birthday Posts" is coming to an end. Handwritten notes, cards, and letters are becoming popular again. Time repeats itself, as we've seen fashion, now we see with communication. There's a reason people hunt for vintage record players, typewriters, and tea sets. We want to be immersed in the past just as technology grows.
Intimacy is not solely defined by romance, but by a close, familiar, and loving personal relationship with another person or group. Social media seems to drive people away from this. People depend on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with their friends and family, but forget the value of a phone call or a lunch date. With more apps & platforms comes a greater challenge to create balance with your "digital" and "real" life. I think (and hope) that print will be one medium that will be a helpful tool for people to learn and create a balance, and to learn the value in community more than ever before3.