Tag: well-being


Digitally Lit #272 – 12/12/2020

Welcome back. This is the last issue of the newsletter for 2020. I’ll continue to blog and work behind the scenes. But…I’ll see you back in the new year.

This week I worked on the following:

  • Taming the Digital Dragon – Don’t slay the digital dragon. Hug the digital dragon.
  • Information Technology Addiction – When we think about our relationship with technology, we need to step out of the waterfall recognize our own consciousness. We need to see the chaos and nature of these digital spaces and try not to be consumed by them.
  • Well-Being in a Digital World – I’m supposed to be an expert in digital spaces…I’m still figuring things out.
  • Sharpen Your Saw – Have a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Feel free to reach out and say hey at hello@digitallyliterate.net.


Tristan Harris – Downgrade

“The real problem of humanity is the following: We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology.” – Edward O. Wilson


When it Comes to Facebook, the Need for Action Has Been Obvious for a Long Time

Facebook should be broken up, FTC and 48 states allege in pair of lawsuits.

Kara Swisher on the need for government to take back power from Big Tech.

The Big Tech companies that have sprouted up since the Microsoft case have been treated by government as if they were the most delicate of flowers, in need of more nurturing than the most finicky of ferns. There have been laughable fines, while one merger after another was allowed to sail on by.

Because Facebook has been buying up tech over the last decade, breaking it up will be very complicated.

Read more here from the NY Times Editorial Board.

With guns drawn, police raid home and seize computers of COVID-19 data whistleblower

Eight months ago, Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force praised Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard as an example of “the kind of knowledge and power we need to put into the hands of the American people.” That dashboard was built by Rebekah Jones.

But in May, Jones was fired by the Florida Department of Health for reportedly refusing to manipulate that data to justify reopening the state early — and now, Florida state police have raided her home and seized the equipment she was using to maintain a new, independent COVID-19 tracker of her own.

Jones posted a series of tweets about the incident, including a video of police entering — with guns drawn.

Jones thinks Florida is trying to intimidate individuals trying to use digital tools for whistleblowing.

Tackling misinformation: What researchers could do with social media data

Misinformation researchers’ holiday wishlist.

In this multi-authored piece, 40+ mis- and disinformation researchers discuss what valuable research they could conduct, if only platforms would make their data (and code) more available.

As scientists, our findings are only as good as the dataset at our disposal … it is urgent that we have access to real-world data where misinformation is wreaking the most havoc.

Tone Is Hard to Grasp Online. Can Tone Indicators Help?

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We all struggle to communicate on the internet. Now, young people are leading a sincere effort to clear things up. Tone indicators are paralinguistic signifiers used at the ends of statements to help readers fill in the blanks.

Looking to add more tone indicators to your online content? I am. Here’s a great resource to add to your repertoire. They’re also looking to translate this into multiple langauges…so this is a great opportunity to make the Internet a better place.

What Is Deadnaming, and How to Avoid It

According to the style guide of the Trans Journalists Association (TJA), deadnaming is a trans person’s given or former name that they no longer use, also often referred to as a “given name” or “legal name.” While deadname is usually a noun, it’s also used as a verb to refer to the act of using the wrong name for a trans person.

How to be supportive/respectful when talking to or about a trans person:

  • Call someone by their name. If you don’t know their appropriate name…ask.
  • Have a conversation (when appropriate) about their name and/or pronouns.
  • If you mess up, correct yourself and move on.
  • Practice saying their name and/or pronouns on your own time.


Convert Any Online Article Into a Podcast With ListenLater.fm

Welcome to ListenLater.fm, a still-in-development service that promises to automatically create “a personalized podcast feed for you to listen to” from any articles you’d otherwise put on your to-read list for later.

In creates an audio recording of a boring ol’ computerized text-to-speech voice reading whatever articles you send the site’s way.

I’ll start recommending this to students that would rather create an audio feed of readings from my courses.



We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.

E.O. Wilson

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The Best Tech Books of 2020 Are All About Giving Power to the User. These 21 books about technology and its impact on society are crucial to understanding our fractious future.

Connect at hello@digitallyliterate.net or on the social network of your choice.

Digital Life and Well-Being

The 2018 Survey: Digital Life and Well-Being (elon.edu)
Ian O’Byrne, an assistant professor of education at the College of Charleston, wrote, “I believe that technology, most notably these digital spaces and places we inhabit, has the potential to both help and harm our well-being over time. These technologies can prove to be helpful as they connect individuals on a global scale and allow people to inform and educate themselves on a level previously unavailable. Social connections across affinity spaces can be created to allow us to find like minded individuals and learn together regardless of where we exist geographically. In many ways, I think we’ll move to a model (if we’re not there already) in which we have much more in common with connections in these digital, social spaces, than we do with neighbors in our own local area.
The challenge is that these technologies can also be extremely harmful, and I believe they will only become worse. Many of these digital, social spaces are playing fast and loose with our data and privacy. Our social signals are sucked up by algorithms that double and triple down on this to give more of the same to our feed. Within this black box of an individual’s customized, aggregated feed is the potential for propaganda, hate and disinformation to spawn. Where family, friends and possibly community would previously be there to step in and try to normalize these perspectives, an individual can be indoctrinated online by their own bias and move against their well-being and the well-being of society without the individual possibly even knowing.
Ultimately, the determination about whether this helps or hurts people in the long run will be determined by an individual’s willingness to understand, problematize and strive for balance as they interact with these technologies. We need education, specifically in critical thinking and evaluation of these texts and spaces to empower individuals to ask questions and problematize their own thinking.”