Welcome to Digital Artifacts.
Tyler Scruggs here! I’m a writer, musician, and internet native exploring the lines between the URL and IRL; identity, culture, and its intersections with faith, politics, queer theory… and all the other stuff you’re not supposed to talk about over dinner.
I’ve been a camp counselor, youth minister, bartender/server, journalist, city council campaign manager, social media strategist, and political activist for immigration, LGBTQ+, and healthcare rights. I’ve also been part of how media is produced as a production assistant in art & costumes on reality TV and major $100m studio productions. All of these hats have informed me and how I see the world.
Digital Artifacts is a newsletter about screwing up. On social media, journalism, art, or life, our actions and words indeed influence and affect others.
Today, nothing seems more worthwhile than interrogating our capacity to influence and acting consciously about what affects us. Here, that can mean media criticism, sociopolitical analysis, and tackling big ideas.
The Internet is something I’ve lived with my whole life. Offline I’ve moved frequently, but online I’m deeply nested in sites and companies I’ve been using since middle school circa 2007. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. are constants while the world around me continually changes. Creating online through my music, writing, filmmaking, tweets — whatever has connected me with a community of people I love and wish to navigate the digital frontier with.
If you’re still reading this, you’re probably one of those people, and I appreciate you a lot. How has all this influenced us, though? What can the recent past tell us about the future? What’s even the actual difference between an influencer and a politician? TikTok celebrity and Hollywood royalty? Could these distinctions be keeping us from something more unifying? These questions and more I want to continue exploring in the most personal, thoughtful, and honest way possible.
Since my first record at 16 to editorial writing and this newsletter project; I want to thank everyone who’s remained on board and listened with intention to where I’m coming from. I’m an excitable person, I know. I like to ride the hype. I know that’s burned me in the past many times, but it’s how we refine. I, too, want to cancel the person I was yesterday and learn to trust more and be honest, not because it’s strategic but because it’s right.
Along with my third album, I’m working on several exciting projects that I will inevitably tell you about way too soon. I do think the future ahead is bright. How are you, though? What’s something we should focus on? Tweet at me.
I’ve found great readers here on SubStack, and I want to focus and invest in them. So with that, I’ve shut down my Patreon. In place of it, you can support my work directly here on SubStack.
At $5/month or $50/year, but you get the same private podcast feed, which has song demos, interviews, and soon podcast versions of my writing. It also has an archive of my writing, and newsletters will be archived after a year until I run out though I’m sending mailers with CDs and letters to those who subscribe! Hit the button below to subscribe, and one will get to you.
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