Goodbye Internet, Hello Intention.

Hi guys!

Recently I’ve been trying out Internet-free afternoons. At first, I felt incredibly bored! At some point I realized it wasn’t enough to remove a bad habit, I have to actively add a good one. 

Intent over habit.
November 5, 2019

I decided to focus on reading, and after an hour of reading instead of Redditing, I felt amazing. I realized that just making an intentional choice instead of going along with the status quo, just for one hour, had already improved my wellbeing. Small steps make a big difference!

Warm Regards,

Madi 

ADVICE AND INSPIRATION

Can Tech Make Us Mindful?

TL;DR:  Has mindfulness entered mainstream tech? The inclusion of a breathing app on the Apple Watch points to the answer being yes. According to experts, apps are a good place for beginners to learn how to be mindful, but in an increasingly fast-paced world, things will need to change before mindfulness is truly ubiquitous. 

You’re not imagining it: always checking dating apps makes you feel worse

Can social apps give us social anxiety? Excessive use of swipe-based dating apps might. Not being ‘liked’ hurts, and that rejection can foster social anxiety. Ouch. 

TECH ISSUES

We Need a PBS for Social Media

TL;DR: Let’s face it—surveillance capitalism, the business model of choice for social media, is not good for users. But what about a public, government-funded social media platform with no incentive to gamify outrage? Sounds great right? At least for everyone except The Zuck.

The biggest lie tech people tell themselves — and the rest of us

TL;DR: Out of all scientific theories, the one that is erroneously applied to the most irrelevant situations is Darwinism. No, tech products are not the result of a natural evolution, they’re the result of people, companies and their choices. It’s true, we can’t put the genie back in the bottle in (creepy af) tech like facial recognition, but we can still choose to regulate it. There’s no reason for the tech industry to behave so irresponsibly simply in the name of innovation!

APPS AND TOOLS

switching.software

If you're looking for ethical alternatives for popular applications, software, and websites, check out switching.software. Thankfully, even in the monopolistic age of big tech, we do have options.

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Be conscious of what you give...

...your time and energy to

Hi everyone,

For many of us, gaming is a serious addiction problem. And like many addictions, it can hinder us from achieving an optimal state of wellbeing.

As an on-off gamer who’s been playing games since I was a kid, the recent release of the Call of Duty mobile game has triggered my addiction. It even led me to start playing Mobile Legends too. One time, I stayed up until the early morning because I just kept on playing, and ended up having a really bad day afterwards. So this is a welcome reminder:

Be mindful and remember that they are precious resources.⠀

📷: @areyouokcampaign
October 26, 2019

If we waste too much time and energy on certain things, we end up losing more than just time and energy. Every single time we launch an app on our phone or computer, we need to make sure it serves our needs—not just our wants. This is particularly true for games.

Play is essential to life. But life is not all about play.

❤️,

@crystalcamarao (with special thanks to Madi Thomas)

ADVICE AND INSPIRATION

This Is What Happens When You Quit Social Media for 40 Days

TL;DR: Ever thought about opting out of social media entirely? Here’s an article about a girl who did just that- she quit her feeds for 40 days. Turns out taking a break is great for a little perspective shift.

Have smartphones really destroyed a generation? We don’t know.

TL;DR: Gen-Z is growing up in an era where the internet is ubiquitous. It’s easy to jump on the “screens are bad for kids” bandwagon, but the data is not so clear. Various issues plague this type of research, from the inaccuracy of self reporting to the possibility of papers containing cherry picked information. The only conclusion to be made here is that we need to do more, better research going forward. 

TECH ISSUES

Facebook Finally Has a Good Idea

TL;DR: At long last, Mark Zuckerberg is giving up some of his God-like oversight power and creating a Facebook “supreme court.” Moderation has always been a difficult issue for the massive platform, will this new venture help?

Spotify needs to crack down on labels snatching user data

TL;DR: Spotify has earned a reputation is being one of the less creepy big tech companies, but this story shows that isn’t completely the case. Recently, a Sony app integrated with the music app asked for an insane amount of user data. Come on Spotify, you’re supposed to be one of the good guys.

APPS AND TOOLS

Sleeptic

Comments: Tired of sleeping in? Sleeptic is an alarm that seeks to solve that. It includes challenging games to jump start your brain in the mornings. It also tracks your sleep data so you can gain new insights. If you’re over oversleeping, check it out!

Details: Free to download on iOS and Android; Additional features require paid subscription

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If so, please consider supporting this newsletter. Become a patron today!

Your feedback would also be highly appreciated.

Likes ≠ Self-Worth

Hi everyone,

It would be a lie to say we don’t care about how many likes our posts get.

I, for one, get anxious when my post is not getting the number of likes I wanted to have. I think to myself about how I must be a loser, etc. etc… and that’s a problem.

Likes are not and never will be a measure of self-worth.⠀

📷: @vinayak_garg
July 19, 2019

We should always remember that our self-worth is never dependent on what others think about us, let alone how many likes we get. We need to build our self-worth and believe in ourselves regardless of what social media tells us.

Granted, it’s probably harder today than it was before the Internet. But it’s something really important to work on.

❤️,

@crystalcamarao (with special thanks to Madi Thomas)

ADVICE AND INSPIRATION

The Most Important Skill in the 21st Century

TL;DR: In the internet age, we have the entirety of human knowledge in our pockets. This vast amount of information is overwhelming, and leaves us confused and prone to seeking out truth that confirms our biases. How can we stay grounded in reality in this new realm of information overload?

The Rise of the “Getting Real” Post on Instagram

TL;DR: Instagram grids are commonly filled with carefully curated snapshots, manifesting an idealized image of the user. Recently, however, the platform has begun to shift. Posts that attempt to show the backstage moments of influencer's lives are becoming more and more popular, but is showcasing relatability just another carefully crafted image to appeal to a user base?

6 ways to protect your mental health from social media’s danger

TL;DR: Social media can be a useful tool, but only when used purposefully. Thankfully, there are many ways to take control of your use. Essentially it’s all about gaining awareness of why you’re tapping, and stepping back for a while when you can. This article gives a quick summary of the steps you can take to stop the superfluous scrolling. 

https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/what-a-one-day-digital-detox-does-for-your-brain-its-pretty-amazing.html

What a 1-Day Digital Detox Does for Your Brain (It's Pretty Amazing)

TL;DR: A digital detox doesn’t have to be a week long retreat. Science has shown that even a 24 hour technology fast can heal the harm prolonged internet use can cause. The study concluded that after one day phone free, people were able to form better irl connections, stand up straighter, remember more, sleep better, and even come up with more breakthrough realizations. Sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday!

APPS AND TOOLS

Fabulous

Comments: Another great app for developing new habits is Fabulous. It was designed by behavioral economists to help you rewire your brain and create healthy rituals. With a beautiful design and helpful habit reminders, Fabulous is a lovely guide on your habit cultivation journey. 

Details: Free to download on iOS and Android; Additional features require a premium subscription

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Connect with people...

...as much as you connect to Wi-Fi

Hi everyone,

When was the last time you connected with someone? Like, really connected?

Hands up if you agree! 🙌🙌🙌⠀

📷: @thefemalewarhol
October 7, 2019

Real-world conversations and interactions are just as important, if not more important, than those on the Internet. Make the intention to connect more with people today.

❤️,

@crystalcamarao (with special thanks to Madi Thomas)

ADVICE AND INSPIRATION

How to use digital technology more mindfully

TL;DR: Want to become more mindful of your phone use but aren’t sure where to begin? Check out this article for 7 helpful tips to get started.

Another reason to silence your notifications: They could alter your memory

TL;DR: Notifications are annoying. But are they also screwing up our memories? Preliminary data from a new study says yes. 

TECH ISSUES

We’re living in an era of digital feudalism. Here’s how to take your data and identity back

TL;DR: There’s a reason our data is being called “the new oil.” It’s valuable. Unfortunately, consumers are being exploited and aren’t seeing any of that value. Could block chain technology be used to make this space more fair?

How Amazon’s Ring is creating a surveillance network with video doorbells

TL;DR: Amazon, known for its monopolistic and exploitative practices, just got even creepier. After acquiring Ring, a video doorbell company, Amazon has ventured into creating a panopticon-esque surveillance system which law enforcement has access to. Are they taking things too far?

APPS AND TOOLS

Stoic

Comments: Stoic is a mental health tracker that encompasses everything you need to gain insight into your daily moods. With a combination of meditation, journaling, cbt techniques and stoic practices, this comprehensive app will help simplify your mental health journey.

Details: Free to download on iOS

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It's ok to be offline

Hi everyone,

Ever feel like you can’t live without the Internet?

I know I do. We use the Internet for sooo many things that it feels like having no Internet is the end of the world. And yet:

Yaaas.
July 25, 2019

Let that sink: It’s okay to be offline. In fact, it’s more than okay!

So much that life has to offer can be enjoyed offline. Sometimes, it can even be only enjoyed offline, like playing sports, eating good food, and spending time with people we care about. We just need to keep remembering that being online is not everything.

❤️,

@crystalcamarao (with special thanks to Madi Thomas)

ADVICE AND INSPIRATION

The Like Button Ruined the Internet

TL;DR: Today’s internet landscape is all about metrics, and trends like clickbait and hyper-polarizing content have become status quo. So is it time to un-like the like button.

No Moment Can Be Saved For Later

TL;DR: With a camera in our back pocket, we have the compulsion to record everything we can. But is our proclivity toward capturing the moment taking away our ability to live in the moment?

TECH ISSUES

The Dark Side of Techno-Utopianism

TL;DR: The future is here, and it’s no utopia. With every new innovation in human communication, there exists a dream that technology will connect people and improve the world. From the invention of the printing press to the dawn of social media, this has proven only partially true.

Silicon Valley is terrified of California’s privacy law. Good.

TL;DR: Do companies like Amazon suddenly care about privacy or are they just up to their usual tricks? It’s probably not a coincidence that many big companies in Silicon Valley are pushing for federal privacy legislation and that California’s new privacy law is going into effect soon.

How ethics can ease our tech anxiety

TL;DR: We’ve always been skeptical of new technologies, but the rise of big data and artificial intelligence definitely bring up major concerns. With the law working too slow to effectively control how tech is being used, who’s going to step in and ensure we’re using this stuff for good?

Did you like this week’s issue?

If you could spare me 1 minute of your time, I'd appreciate your feedback.

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