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What is digital understanding?

Digital understanding is the ability both to use technology and to comprehend, in real terms, the impact that it has on our lives. It’s not the same as digital skills.

Digital skills mean we can perform a task. Digital understanding means we not only know the reason for a task and its potential consequences, but also appreciate the wider context of and around our actions.

For example, people with digital skills can go on Facebook; those with digital understanding know how Facebook collects data about them. …


We’ve all had those moments when the past plops into our inbox. Some old friend gets unexpectedly in contact. Some weird ex lifts their head above the parapet. Some long-forgotten subscription notifies us of renewal. But imagine if what emerged in your email from the ethers of your history was yourself.

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I googled ‘contemplative lemon’.

This is pretty much what happens with 10Q — a series of 10 questions, the same every year, that are sent one a day to your inbox. You write a response to each, and at the end of the series what you’ve written is sealed away for 12 months…


My Dad died in November 2013. When he was alive, he asked a lot of annoying questions that had the ability to make me instantly irate.

After he was gone, unexpectedly, I realised, unexpectedly, that I missed them. In fact, they were what I missed most.

When they stopped being asked, I finally understood that they weren’t actually questions; they were substitutes for the expressions of love he struggled to make.

Here’s a selection.

On visits home

  1. What day are you leaving? (Moments after arrival.)
  2. Where are you? (Morning.)
  3. Oh, are you in here?
  4. What are you doing?
  5. What do you want for…

Alex Lemon

Poking life. Learning lots. Thinking more. Making a podcast too: www.squanderlustpod.com

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