Turn off, tune out, drop out!

Digital well being is a movement started to create a healthy relationship with technology. So it’s difficult to have a standard answer to that question. 

Our devices have never been more powerful, and people have never been so desperate to escape them through “digital detoxes” and “dumb phones.” Unplugging is the rallying call of our time. Turn off, tune out, drop out. The rise of “digital well-being” makes it look too easy. It’s a way to rebrand tech as something that’s good for you—but it only treats the symptoms, not the underlying disease.

Sameer Samat Google’s VP for Android and Google Play.

if that is what Google’s VP has to convey that we indeed maybe up the gum tree.

Varies from person to person

We probably haven’t even given two thoughts about apps before the pandemic. Now that we have time on our hands, we are more cognizant of our digital lives. Take a moment before we continue and consider the top 3 apps you spend most of your time with? Hate it or love it. It doesn’t matter. What matters is we must recognise the impact these apps have on us.

Cambridge Atlantica Scandal 

An extreme example would be how apps like Facebook indirectly influenced us in more ways than we know or like. Back in 2016, Facebook changed the course of the US Presidential election. Apps like Facebook run on data provided by us. A company known as  Cambridge Atlantic specializes in analyzing the personality traits of people thereby influencing them to vote.

In the 2016 US Presidential election, Cambridge Atlantica was running Trump’s data operations. Trump’s team paid psychology professors to gain data from the app started by him. The app was intended to essentially predict your personality, and a few thousand downloaded the app. Now in this day and age, who manually inserts data? You just use Facebook or Google to sign up. The same happened then, the users who wanted to predict their personalities signed up using Facebook. Things got messy when the app replicated the information not only from people that downloaded the app but also from their friends without prior consent.

This was the largest data breach the world has ever seen. Like I said, this was an extreme example of the apps literally influencing us. But hey, I have to agree that apps do make our life easier. They can enhance our productivity in more ways than we can imagine. But it hinges on if we utilise it for the right reasons. We can set alarms, schedule meetings, create our daily to-do lists, set reminders, learn online, practice mindfulness, find new restaurants, rate hostels, research for a trip, order cabs, find a date. The opportunities are endless.


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