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Healthy Consumption Of A Digital Diet (via Harvard Business Review)

This article is measured and seeks to propose that the health effects of a digital overload need to be recognized and strategies developed to deal constructively with a problem that will not go away.
Though referenced in US terms, it would seem that Australia is not far removed from its central points:

Historians and clinicians may someday call this moment “peak content.” American adults now spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media—sometimes longer. That’s more time than we spend eating and sleeping. From YouTube videos to viral tweets, we are ingesting a huge volume of media, and it has consequences.
Out of this cloud of mood-altering material emerges a new set of health challenges. One in five Americans is clinically depressed. Tens of millions more suffer from mild to moderate anxiety and other mood disorders. But current research doesn’t yet support a clear and causal link. More work is required to understand the complex relationship between media diets and depression–mood disorders are not a new phenomenon, even if suicide rates appear to be increasing. The technologies fueling our media consumption are outpacing the rate of scientific inquiry, making real or verifiable effects hard to understand and perhaps harder study appropriately.
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Now is the moment to pursue a three-pronged approach to all digital encounters: literacy, hygiene, and labeling. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to re-shape our still primitive and often unruly digital culture into a safer, healthier, more rewarding domain.

Read the whole post at Harvard Business Review.


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Satisfied Customer

My 18 month old iPad Pro had a problem where the touch screen was intermittently unresponsive for a few seconds at a time. It was usable, but frustrating for what is supposed to be a premium quality device.

With help from the Apple store on George St, Sydney, then a phone consultation here at home, I left it at a authorized service dealer in Adelaide on Saturday, not expecting much given the intermittency of the fault.

I planned to pick it up on Thursday when I returned to Adelaide, and be told there wasn’t much that could be done, a feeling confirmed when I got a message Tuesday that my repair could be picked up.

Went in to get the unit today, and looking at the invoice realized that I was being given a replacement device.

That’s pretty good.

I’m a satisfied customer.


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Deep Communion vs Digital Communication (via Drew Hunter at Crossway Blog)

Drew Hunter observes that modern communication technology can be a helpful aid in growing relationships when it supplements face-to-face interactions, but when it becomes a primary or sole means of communication relationships will stagnate at superficial levels.

Deep Communion vs. Digital Communication
… Modern technology is a great tool for keeping up certain aspects of our relationships. Writing emails, sending texts, scanning posts—all of these helpfully complement true companionship. But they cannot fully replace it. These are the shallow ends of relationships. We find these tools convenient, but then we’re tempted to neglect the deeper waters of shared experiences and face-to-face conversation. Very often the way we use technology leads away from, rather than in to, stronger friendships. We often trade deep communion for digital communication.
Technology can hinder friendship in four ways. First, it often depersonalizes communication. We use it to connect, but over time, we feel less, not more, connected. We use it to move closer, but we end up farther away. We trade conversations and experiences for details and updates. We’re more connected to more people more often than ever before, but many of our relationships become more superficial and less satisfying.
Second, technology can disengage us from real communion. Sometimes when we connect with people through technology, we disconnect from those who are sitting right around us. Friends sit across the table at a coffee shop and enjoy friendship, but not with each other—with the friends on the other end of their phones. Once when I visited a workplace, I stepped into a break room and saw six coworkers sitting around a lunch table. The room was silent. Five of them stared at their phones while the sixth looked at her food. She sat at the table with them, but she ate her lunch alone. Surrounded by peers, she had no one to talk to.
Third, technology disembodies conversation. When we engage in person, we experience our friends in unrepeatable and holistic ways. We notice her expressions, intuit her moods, and learn her quirks. Embodied friendship is full of dynamic, realtime, give-and-take interaction. In contrast, digital communication doesn’t demand much more than fingers to flit around a keyboard. This has a place of course, but it doesn’t match experiencing a person’s real presence. For me to see Dane’s head roll back and hear his laugh, to talk through personal challenges across the table with Taylor, to see the romance in Christina’s eyes, to sense the sincerity in Bill’s encouragement, or to pick up the witty humor in Trent’s tone—there is simply no digital equivalent.
Finally, technology creates dependence on less personal ways of addressing personal issues. Confessing sin and admitting failure, or on the other hand, addressing sin and confronting failure—each of these is challenging, and digital communication seems easier. We take time to craft a statement, and we don’t need to worry about immediate reactions. But then we soon prefer to replace a personal meeting with a phone call; a phone call with a voicemail; a voicemail with an email; and an email with a text. Each step smooths the path for the next. Soon we can hardly muster the courage to say anything difficult in person. And without the reassuring eye contact, gentle tone, and responsive clarifications, we often end up adding complications rather than clearing things up.

Read the rest of the post at Crossway Blog.


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Modern Technology Would Have Ruined ‘Home Alone’

This ad for Google Assistant features the grown up Kevin McAllister (performed again by Macaulay Culkin) and demonstrates how pretty common tech these days would have made all his Home Alone hijinks redundant.
It also seems that Kevin still lives with his parents.


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iPhone Cursor Motion

This piece of information about how to move the cursor on iPhones when composing messages and the like has been doing the rounds.

I didn’t know. I was using my finger directly on the cursor.

My mind was a little bit blown, so for those who also don’t know, here you go.


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Apple Watch Travel Stand

Just in time for six weeks away this Belkin Apple Watch travel stand arrived today.

Using my existing charging cable the stand can roll up the cable, fold flat, or sit the watch in night display mode.

Win.


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Christian Alexa

Alexa is one of those digital assistants that become part of your home.
Amazon, Google and Apple will all have competing systems on the market this year.
It’s only a matter of time before the Christian equivalent is produced.
But do you really want that?
This video seeks to give you a taste of what it might be like.