#mindfultech news of the week: November 16, 2018 📰

 
Charles Platiau for Reuters via The Atlantic

Charles Platiau for Reuters via The Atlantic

 

Another tough week for mindful technology, and so we look at it head on. But we also found some good news, some funny stuff, and some great things so support. Take a look!

LONGER READS

Delay, deny, and deflect – and destroy democracy?

I am highly cynical and suspicious about Facebook’s leadership, and even I was legitimately shocked to read the details of the New York Times investigation into how they handled their most recent series of crises. I implore you: don’t just read summaries of the piece, read it in it’s entirety. The company’s stated mission is “to make the world more open and connected” but they are tearing away at the remaining threads of an open and connected world. They are clearly more interested in damage control than in controlling damage. Facebook is attacking us all and it matters immensely.

studies linking screen time to mental health issues get stronger

For the first time, Facebook use was also directly linked to causing depression (along with Instagram and Snapchat use.) Users who spent a few weeks off of social media saw marked improvement in their emotional states. Remote workplaces have also now been linked to loneliness; it turns out we need human connection! And, a new study makes it very clear that heavy screen use in children is linked to a doubling of depression and anxiety diagnoses.

the good news

But it’s not all bad news about technology, and that’s part of why it’s so complicated––sometimes the promises of tech are delivered on. A new, very inexpensive heart monitor and accompanying app could help medical staff in developing countries. Apple’s article about how iPhone’s VoiceOver feature helps a blind veteran surf is undeniably heartwarming. And there is an upcoming headset / therapy app combination that aims to help treat depression.

People who build technology that makes the world a better place should be celebrated! But let’s also not ignore the reality of technology both giving and taking away.

QUICK TAKES

Also in #mindfultech news this week . . .

WHAT WE’RE DIGGING

Okay, remember how we said it’s not all good and not all bad? This truly thought-provoking photo essay in The Atlantic illustrates that beautifully. It shows phones being weaponized, but also phones being used to save people. It’s a crystal clear look at how phones are massively changing the world we’re living in (yes, for better and for worse.) Be sure to read the captions; the photos aren’t always what you assume them to be.

SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE WEEK

We’re using our shameless plug this week to plug two other organization’s good ideas (that makes it shameless-less, right?)

First, any women in tech who have products / books / etc to promote should submit them to the Women Who Tech gift guide. And secondly, the second annual Women of Color Fashion Tech Brunch is seeking sponsors. Put your money where your mouth is, friends at big companies! :)

Anything else we should be talking about? Drop us a line, or shoutout on Twitter. More news next week!

Warmly,

Liza

 
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