By Lisa Marie Burwell
To me, it seems that the world around us is changing at the speed of light. I am unsure if technology—and the massive advances it has made in the last decade—is the sole culprit, but its DNA can be found all over this upheaval. I hail from the era when a facsimile transmission (better known as a “fax”) was the latest and greatest form of business communication, and mobile phones were strictly limited to, believe it or not, voice calls. Now, it’s easier to connect with the world through your fingertips than ever before. Personal communication devices like smartphones and watches, which are capable of much more than just voice calls, can also send instant messages like emails, texts, in-app chats and messaging, and video messaging. Move over fax machine!
Part of the transformation that we are witnessing comes from the many industries that are monetizing these modern-day, instant communications. Instant customer service, instant ride share, instant food delivery, instant delivery of products ordered online, and anything else that helps us to do things easier and faster are driving the momentum. For better or worse, Lyft and Uber have put a new face on the personal transportation industry. Within four to five years, the online food courier industry is expected to grow to over $220 billion and account for almost half of restaurant sales. Services that package ready-to-cook meals, delivered to your door with perfectly portioned ingredients, exist by the dozens. E-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart offer two-day, next-day, and even same-day delivery of online orders. And the list goes on.
Like most, I love many of the obvious benefits that technological marvels afford us, so I am not complaining. But despite all of these “improvements” in our ability to connect, it seems that we are actually becoming more disconnected from the world and those around us on a personal level. People still need to interact with other people and with the tangible things around us. Even though many think it is archaic, I am one of the few who still use a phone the way Alexander Graham Bell intended it. I find that one of the most effective methods of communication in business is to actually speak to people—but try telling that to anyone under the age of thirty-five. One of my favorite Instagram posts this year read: “The best way to call me is to text me.” I believe that we could all use some help with nurturing a healthy balance to stay in tune with the ones we love and do business with and with both our man-made and natural environments. Put down your “device” and take a break from the virtual world. Instead, spend some time reconnecting with the real world—it can be amazingly therapeutic.
In this issue, you’ll find trend updates on hair and fashion, healthy recipes, and a fashion layout that radiates beauty in “Galaxia Strikes a Pose” by Sallie Boyles. This photo-editorial is a tribute to our friend and creative extraordinaire DapperAfrika, who sadly passed away last year; he was the genius behind this magnificent fashion shoot. We had the great pleasure of working with DapperAfrika and the legendary fashion stylist Ty Hunter on the 2018 Fashion Issue (October), which remains one of our favorite and most exciting fashion shoots to date.
Of course, as the editor-in-chief of a print magazine, I do hope that you’re taking the opportunity to connect with VIE by reading a hard copy of this issue, but if not, we are happy to have you read it digitally as well. Here’s to a happy new year and a great decade ahead of us, and may God bless us with increased love and an understanding that we need to love our fellow man.
— V —