4 Gen Z-ers share how they prevent digital fatigue with homemade crafts
From homemade fanzines, clothes, and rugs — these 4 young creators find digital escape in physical craft.
2 Jun 2021

There is no question that our lives are becoming more digitised, especially during the pandemic where the majority of our meetings have been on Zoom — whether it’s work-related or catching up with friends. The screen time has gone up and social media has felt like our connection to reality. If you were to compare your daily screen time during lockdown to pre-pandemic times, you would most likely see a significant rise. It’s no wonder many of us have reached so-called digital fatigue.

But what has all this brought us? We are starting to see that companies and small creators are turning to physical crafts as a kind of backlash from the rising digitalisation. The trend is spreading on social media, where homemade crafters inspire themselves and their followers to turn off the screen for a couple of hours.

Amy Ta — Amy Ta Studio

Amy grew up in Gothenburg and has always enjoyed creating and doing crafts. The playful and energetic mindset that she’s had since her childhood can be seen in her homemade rugs that can be found on her Instagram Amy Ta Studio.

— Amy Ta Studio is the beginning of my creative platform where I will upload things I create. There is really no other secret motive besides me enjoying creating. My rugs are only the beginning of this journey and one of my ways of expressing myself. 

Why did you start making your own carpets from scratch?

— I tried tufting (the technique for making the rugs) 2018 at my university, Swedish School of Textiles and loved it. A few years later, I started tying my own rya rug by hand, but it took such a long time to finish it so I chose to invest in my own tufting gun. 

Have you experienced digital fatigue in any way, perhaps more now during the pandemic?

— Yes. I could sit and scroll for hours on different social media platforms and got really high anxiety when my phone at the end of the week summarized my screen time. My days could also feel so meaningless and empty after endless scrolling, especially when you see others posting their success, which in the end lit a fire under my ass. 

Are you actively trying to reduce screen time and increase physical craft?

— Everyday! I’m trying to break the habit of always being available on my phone and computer and focus on myself. Of course, you can get inspired by others on different social media platforms but real inspiration comes from living your life off the screen. 

Alice Hördegård — Future Nostalgia Fanzine

18-year-old Alice Hördegård will graduate from high school by the end of next week. She has always had a great interest in fashion, but just like many other Gen Z-ers, she has an even bigger interest in sustainability. Since fashion and sustainability usually are two opposites, the need to push for sustainable fashion became an important issue for her. These factors, together with 15 months of Zoom classes and too much screen time, inspired her to create the physical fanzine Future Nostalgia. 

— Being able to make a difference in a creative and challenging way, and also draw attention to the problem that fashion has with sustainability was the motivation behind Future Nostalgia, she says and adds:

 — The magazine is about looking back at what’s passed, and by doing so looking ahead. Maybe we should be inspired by the way we consumed before, and also consume what has already been worn before. I think that is what is needed to move forward in the right direction.

What’s your experience with digital fatigue?

— The pandemic has affected half of my high school years, which has been stressful for both grades and relationships. Distance education has not been the most fun, but I try to always have a positive attitude to it. I’ve learned technology better, and in some ways myself as well. But the recent digitalisation is not something I appreciate. I think it often removes the human contact between each other and makes very very cold and boring!

Are you actively trying to reduce screen time and increase physical craft?

— My personal screen time has increased a lot during the pandemic. The aggressive digitisation of our lives was one of the main reasons why I made Future Nostalgia a physical magazine. The magazine is about taking a step back and getting inspiration from the past, so it was an obvious choice to go for a physical magazine. Instead of going with fast-paced social media platforms. 

Joshua Allison — Northstock

California-born Josh is a 22-year-old living in Stockholm, Sweden. He makes clothes as an independent creator using recycled or secondhand materials with colourful, simple, and beautiful pairs of denim jeans as a foundation.

— I started because I found a video on youtube and I thought it would be fun to try the bleach method on a random tshirt. It turned out to look really amazing so then I just started spraying bleach on whatever I had in in the closet. I think I watched around 50+ videos on it and spent so many days learning to dye t-shirts in my student room’s bathroom.

The experimenting later turned into Northstock, his own brand that sells one-off handmade pieces of clothing made with recycled or secondhand materials designed or painted on using dyes, paints, bleach. The owl logo was drawn by friend and artist Marc UÅ of hip-hop collective Random Bastards.

Are you actively trying to reduce screen time and increase physical craft?

— These days I think that I’m subconsciously increasing the time spent with my art because I’m simply bored of screens now. I have really noticed how much I was on my phone by how bad I felt in my neck and mind. This digital fatigue didn’t start during the pandemic, but it definitely peaked during the pandemic.

Lilly Kungs

Lilly is a 21-year-old YouTuber and owner of Archive Attire, a vintage brand selling preloved pieces located in Stockholm, Sweden. As of now, she only works with preloved pieces, but she hopes to turn her passion for sewing into ready-to-wear pieces in the future. One of her pandemic pastimes has been trying to master the art of making clothes from scratch.

— I have always been into sewing. My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was younger. Her mother was a seamstress and now she’s teaching me all the tips and tricks that she learned once upon a time. I always call her if I have any questions!

Have you experienced digital fatigue in any way, perhaps more now during the pandemic?

— I was in my last year of High School when the pandemic started, so we pretty much had the whole last semester digitally and missed out on all the fun on graduation which was so unfortunate. But as of now, I’m very thankful to have a job where I can be creative and not obligated to sit in front of the computer all day. Although I have stayed at home a lot more and have had all meetings digitally, which can be tiring at times, Lilly says and adds:

— I would believe that my screen time has increased, but I try not to be on my phone too much. Instead, I like to sew for example!