Progress, Not Perfection
|Digitally Well||Nov 12, 2019|
Several months ago, I was at a digital low point. I was spending at least 10 hours a day on my phone and a sense of hopelessness started to creep in.
Eventually I realized I was judging myself too harshly. There is no right or wrong way to be on this journey. I am still learning how to exist with technology in a healthy way. Failure is just more information about what isn't working, and an opportunity to try again.
ADVICE AND INSPIRATION
TL;DR: Why are we addicted to our phones? Recent research has concluded it’s because we’re trying to avoid our thoughts. This is where mindfulness comes in. Once we become at ease with our minds, the urge to distract dissipates. Being able to return to the present moment and experience your thoughts as thoughts, instead of identifying with them, are life changing habits that are essential for taking back control of our tech.
TL;DR: Blue light is not the problem with screens. Staring at a backlit screen before bed does, however, disrupt your sleep. So instead of rushing to buy fancy blue light blocking glasses, the real fix is simply avoiding screens before bed. If your eyes do hurt from screen use, they’re probably dry. Blink!
TL;DR: DARPA, a US military program, has set its sights on creating brain-computer interfaces. A non invasive BCI device is still in the preliminary testing stage, but are we ready for the potential consequences of the military and companies such as Facebook having access to this kind of tech?
TL;DR: Aldous Huxley, author of the dystopian sci-fi novel Brave New World, predicted in 1958 the current precarious situation of democracy in the digital age. He warned that “new techniques of propaganda” can divert the “rational side of man and appeal to his subconscious and his deeper emotions, and his physiology even, … making him actually love his slavery.” In our current landscape of big data and echo chambers, his warnings are strikingly eerie.
TL;DR: Facebook said they were going to take steps to avoid what happened in 2016 in the 2020 election. Now, they are defending lies in political ads as “free speech.” To Zuckerberg, Facebook is a public square where people have access to the entire marketplace of ideas, and lies are quickly exposed. However, because campaigns can target ads to small groups of people at a time, they effectively avoid the marketplace of ideas. If the only people exposed to the lie are the people most likely to believe it, how would anyone else oppose it?
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