Creating meaning and connection with the physical

Digital to Physical
T-mobile Tuesday recently offered 10 free photo prints at Walgreens and I took the bait! What fascinated me about the experience was that it forced me to slow down and go through my Google Photos and Facebook albums to decide what was meaningful or beautiful enough to print.

This process of “meditating” on my summer took several hours, but left me feeling more joyful and grateful than I expected.

Once I had the prints, I felt like sharing them…with my girlfriend, my grandma, my mom. And I realized that I could write notes on the back and send them to friends!

That digital to physical conversion activated underused possibilities in my brain for creating connection and meaning.

I noticed a similar thing happen earlier this summer when I burned a CD of music to play in my car for the first time in maybe a decade. I very carefully selected the songs I truly enjoyed and put them in a fitting order that flowed together as an album.

The constraints of the physical medium “forced” me to exercise more curative powers.

The result?

A CD I’ve listened to over and over again without getting bored!

I think this is an interesting way to approach our “critique” of digital transformation. Instead of fearing all the disruption, loss of attention and defaulting to the status quo, we can reflect on what’s meaningful about the physical and use digital to press more deeply into that!

(Originally posted on