Unplug
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Unplug
Take a deep breath, slow down to navigate into a richer more fulfilling life.
Curated by craig daniels
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What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades | Unplug | Scoop.it
Even as the emphasis shifts to the keyboard, experts say that learning to write by hand improves motor skills, memory and creativity.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Is handwriting a relic of the past? 


It is now only in kindergarten and 1st grade that legible writing is taught to children.  After that "the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard".



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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, June 6, 2014 12:07 PM

This is the 3rd or 4th scoop in the last few days on this topic. I think it is important enough to keep grabbing new articles.

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The Nine Ways of Knowing: Unplugged: The World Beyond Your Screens

The Nine Ways of Knowing: Unplugged: The World Beyond Your Screens | Unplug | Scoop.it
Feel like you're always staring at a screen? It's time to unplug.
Susan Taylor's insight:

The student population on most college campuses today are completely absorbed in technology.

 

With this comes a rapidly growing concern that machines are taking over our daily lives "and we're losing touch with the real world."

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The AFTER

The AFTER | Unplug | Scoop.it
Credit Celeste Noche Photography

The last Friday of 2013, I opened my eyes to a very familiar sound: a sound
I had tried to erase from my memory.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Living in Lebanon comes with tremendous stress.  Bombs going off when you least expect it -- killing people and causing destruction.

 

Whether you reside in Lebanon or not, we all have daily stresses.  And after 100 hours of meditation and 300 hours of silence, this blogger passes on to her readers the 6 lessons she has learned:

 

  1. Pain is inevitable
  2. Pain is good
  3. Ninety-nine percent of our thoughts are rubbish
  4. Silence is sometimes a better way
  5. Start with intention (vs. expectation)
  6. The real lesson of listening

 

It is not things, people or even technology to which we are attached.  We are attached to distraction as a way to escape from the here and now -- or pain -- or truth. 

 

How many times do we turn a blind eye to these things which we prefer to avoid?

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Battles Being Fought by Tech Giants Aid in Human Progress

Battles Being Fought by Tech Giants Aid in Human Progress | Unplug | Scoop.it
Guardian Express
Apple Inc.'s Competition is Good for Human Progress
Guardian Express
Those battles being fought by the tech giants are aiding human progress.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Apple suing Samsung.  Samsung suing Apple.  Old news.  The upside?  Fighting between high tech companies may be aiding human progress. 

 

A century ago, most people did not own a car.  The wrist-watch was considered high tech, but didn't become popular until the 1920's. Later, telephone and radio revolutionized the world. With these advances -- even back then -- came patent suits. 

 

Humans have never made as much technological progress as they have in the last 30 years. "Probably the biggest advancement in modern times has been the Internet. The creation of a world-wide network has allowed human beings to exchange ideas and swap knowledge almost instantly". 

 

In modern times, there is one thing that has remained the same.  Patent suits.  The difference?  The Internet - a place where patent information is often very quickly available to most.

 

And according to Brent Matsalla, these tech companies who continue to sue one another over these patents continue to grease "the wheels of human progress." 

 

 

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A Digital Day with No Dialogue

A Digital Day with No Dialogue | Unplug | Scoop.it
Modern Zamanlar (Modern Times) captures A Day In Our Life… 8:00 minutes without dialogue, yet it shoots by in a flash.
Susan Taylor's insight:

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less". -- Vaclav Havel

 

We all live in the 21st Century -- the Ditigal Age.  It is for that very reason alone you should watch this short film.

 

This 8-minute film portrays "A Day in Our Life" and does so without any dialogue.  "Peppered with humor and layered with desperation", it draws us into "those intimate moments of our own lives that we know too well".

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6 Digital Health Tool Trends that will Change Your Life Forever

6 Digital Health Tool Trends that will Change Your Life Forever | Unplug | Scoop.it
6 technology trends that will change your family's health forever
Fox News
When the Affordable Care Act takes effect in January, it will not only change the health care system but how we manage our families' health and our own.
Susan Taylor's insight:

As technology continues to evolve, digital health tools are playing a bigger role in how we stay healthy. 

 

Here are 6 of the latest trends to look for:

 

  1. Telemedicine: A virtual visit with your doctor via SKYPE or Face Time.
  2. Wearables: Gadgets with sensors that measure things like heart rate, body temperature and even sleep patterns.
  3. Healthcare Apps: “The next time you go to your doctor, you may be just as likely to get an app as an aspirin."  It is estimated that by 2015, 500 million people will be using apps as tools to diagnose symptioms or send blood pressure readings to their doctors.
  4. The Internet: Products that combine a physical device, cloud-base data and a mobile device will track things like daily weight, heart rates and blood sugar.
  5. Medical Records: Web-based sites that will keep all of yours and your families medical records in one place.
  6. Home Health & Safety: Medical bottles that set off an alarm when a child tries to open them and new digital thermometers that scan the forehead for a more accurate reading.

 

 

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Well Connected Mom's curator insight, August 30, 2014 8:54 PM

I would agree with these but would definitely add 3D printing, which will dramatically change what is possible in many areas of our lives.

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UK Employees Believe Technology Helps Them Achieve Better Work-Life Balance

UK Employees Believe Technology Helps Them Achieve Better Work-Life Balance | Unplug | Scoop.it
Onrec
UK workforce cites technology as key to better work-life balance
Onrec
As UK companies prepare for recovery, employees are ready to embrace technology, believing it helps them achieve a better work-life balance and work more effectively.
Susan Taylor's insight:

As the UK begins its economic recovery, a recent survey indicates that more than 20% of the countrys' employees claim that technology helps them achieve better work-life balance

 

It is for this reason that UK HR professionals are enthusiastically embracing technology; it is seen as a way to unlock talent and help people to work more effectively.  Other domains such as Legal and Admin, however, feel less positive given their views that "technology blurs the lines between work and home."  

 

Technology continues to transform working life.  That is true for almost anyone.  Forty-five percent of UK employees state that technology has impacted their role or career in the last year alone.  "Contrary to fears about technology blurring the lines between work and home", this survey suggests that employees actually welcome it. 

 

What is surprising to me are the views of the 16 to 24-year olds who were "least likely to view technology as helping".

 

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Ditch Work-Life Balance

Ditch Work-Life Balance | Unplug | Scoop.it
Programmers - who are known to sleep under their desks, wear pajamas all day, and code for 16 hours straight without standing up - have long been pushing against workplace mores.

Via sfMediaProf
Susan Taylor's insight:

At a recent conference in San Francisco, Nick Floyd gave his view on work-life balance:  "Ditch it". 

 

Separating work and life in Floyd's view is outdated.  His approach?  What he calls "Nerd Life Balance" -- no longer dividing work and non-work hours. 

 

Tech companies have blurred the divide, often times providing nap rooms for employees who sit at computers 16 hours each day, continuing through the night for "hackathons".  In this philosophy, the engineering culture of the future is always thinking about work.  You're not necessarily working 16-hour days, but "your brain is kind of always thinking about work. While you're rock climbing, you're thinking about work."

 

Programmers and "techies" may resonate with "Nerd Life Balance", yet I'm not sure it's good for anyone.  Human beings are not built to be "on" 24/7.  Just as our bodies need rest, our brains do too -- every 90 minutes, according to the most recent research.  And no one should have to give their life away to any company -- technology based or otherwise. 

 

Where do you stand on the issue of work-life balance? 

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sfMediaProf's curator insight, November 17, 2013 10:17 PM

If you believe, as much brain research indicates, that humans need to disconnect and relax at regular intervals -- let's hope the idea in this article does not gain traction:

According to senior engineer, Nick Floyd, the idea of work and life being separate is outdated and impractical.  Instead, he proposed something new: Nerd Life Balance, in which work and nonwork hours are no longer divided. ...

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What, No Instruction Manual?

What, No Instruction Manual? | Unplug | Scoop.it

"Has it really come to this? In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them. Often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. Like teenagers, we appear to have gone from knowing nothing about the world to knowing too much all but overnight.

craig daniels's insight:

Before reading this article I'd never heard of Black-Hole-Resorts. Oh sure I knew there were getaway places that had no TV or Internet, I even knew of few of them didn't allow cell phones on the grounds. But for the life of me I didn't know a term had been coined describing these quiet oasis's.


A well written and enjoyable piece that ends with an upbeat conclusion that the children of too much technology will adapt to it much better than we have, they will see nothing abnormal about shutting it off.

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Can We Use Technology to Become More Mindful?

Can We Use Technology to Become More Mindful? | Unplug | Scoop.it
Observing the way your mind and body reacts to different types of interaction with technology can help in pinpointing where your anxiety is coming from -- and, through mindful awareness, to challenge your automatic reactions.
craig daniels's insight:

Oh no the world is going to fall apart because there is too much technology, I must unplug, I must unplug...


The above sound a bit like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz, there's no place like home, there's no place like home. Its easy to blame or wish for something external to ourselves yet it is our mind that create the stress and confusion surround technology.


Maybe seeking a balance is the answer and in the post from Carolyn Gregoire she talks about using technology to help us become mindful.

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Alone Together, A Book Review

Alone Together, A Book Review | Unplug | Scoop.it

"Today’s adolescents have no less need than those of previous generations to learn empathetic skills, to think about their values and identity, and to manage and express feelings. They need time to discover themselves, time to think."

craig daniels's insight:

Acknowledging the side of technology that creates isolation and dilutes empathy is not good for business so let's not talk about it, right.

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Skype with the Dead

Skype with the Dead | Unplug | Scoop.it
Its creators pitch it as a way to simply become immortal. Could they be on to something?
Susan Taylor's insight:

Eterni.me is "a kind of digital immortality."

 

Transcend death by tapping into your deceased loved one's ditigal paper trail.  Then build an artificial intelligence based on the deceased's personality that can actually interact with the living.

 

An upcoming horror movie or an "interface for accessing memories"? The jury's still out!

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Here's a Radical Thought: UNPLUG

Here's a Radical Thought:  UNPLUG | Unplug | Scoop.it
I've been marveling at how short our attention spans are becoming. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we have an incredible amount of information instantly accessible to us through technology.
Susan Taylor's insight:

There is no dispute that we have instant information accessible to us through technology.  Want an answer?  Turn to Google.  Very seldom these days do we take much time to contemplate the deeper aspects of our lives.  So here's a radical thought:  UNPLUG!

 

We have nearly ceased to stretch our minds.  What happens to thinking about the bigger picture -- why we're here...where we're headed...what we want to do with our lives?  Can't Google the answers to those questions...

 

Technology is a wonderful thing.  At the same time, we have grown complacent.  And continuing to rely on technology more often than not is proving to be costly. 

 

So turn off your phone, computer or tablet.  Then stop and take a good look around you.  "Tune back into your surroundings. Have a live conversation, or simply listen to the sounds of the birds and the breeze. Step away from technology for a while and open your mind. Breathe. Feel your thoughts expanding to encompass everything that is around you. After all, that's what your brain is there to do: monitor the environment and think big thoughts!"

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Life in the Digital Fast Lane

Life in the Digital Fast Lane | Unplug | Scoop.it
It's no wonder that companies are training their staff in mindfulness techniques (Guardian >> How life in the digital fast lane has made us lose touch with our senses http://t.co/M3EqLtr4g7)...
Susan Taylor's insight:

Before we know it, self-driving cars will become the norm.  And what will we do with that extra time? 

 

"The reality will be that, rather than seizing those precious chunks of time for all the things we always say we wish we could do more of, we'll end up working and pouring distractedly over our phones", cramming in email, texting, or "vanity-scrolling our infinite, pointless Facebook newsfeeds" before arriving at our final destination.

 

That's life in the Digital Fast Lane.  And that's why Jemima Kiss suggests mindfulness as a powerful tool for creating a bit of invaluable space and perspective. 

 

"So the next time you find yourself lost in a mindless web, maybe mindfulness is worth a thought. It's about exploring the sensory experience of being alive, rather than the superficial sensations of being online".

 

 

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emma barlow's curator insight, December 30, 2014 6:30 AM

9. Gives an overview of downside to a digital lifestyle. Points out of the dangers o commercialisation of meditation and mindfulness practices such as meditation iphone apps. 

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Unplug -- Your Humanity Is At Stake!

Unplug -- Your Humanity Is At Stake! | Unplug | Scoop.it
Unplug all you want — it won't help. by Rian on 29 November 2013. In The Disconnectionists Nathan Jurgenson takes to task those who speak about digital detoxes and the negative social effects of being online: Op-eds, magazine articles, ...
Susan Taylor's insight:

"Disconnect. Take breaks. Unplug all you want. You’ll have different experiences and enjoy them, but you won’t be any more healthy or real."

 

This blogger speaks to the anti-social behavior that comes from too much technology in our lives.  All of this technology makes us unsociable, uncommunicative -- not wanting to be in the company of others.  Before the Digital Age, everyone used to talk to one another.

 

Yet this blogger is reminded of a Tweet he saw of the picture above with the caption: "All this technology is making us antisocial. Before, everyone used to talk to each other.”

 

Is our humanity at stake? 

 

From where does our anti-social behavior come? 

 

Technology? 

 

Or Us?

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Unplug Your Kids

Unplug Your Kids | Unplug | Scoop.it
“My sons (Afnan, age nine and Hassan, age seven) are truly the children of the technology age. They prefer to play...
Susan Taylor's insight:

Any child born in the 21st Century knows a different world than I did as a child; these are children of the Technology Age.  With everything now just a click away, we need to think about how to unplug our kids.

 

Our fascination with technology creates a condition where we feel more efficient and connected.  In this blogger's view, it is important that we don't "ignore the other side of the story" -- the impact technology has on the health and well being of constant users.  The impact that technology has on our children.

 

To completely disconnect from the world of electronic devices would be irresponsible.  No one is suggesting that.  But what many are suggesting, including the author of this article, is that making friends with devices as an alternative to real interaction with people, our children do not learn how to engage in ways that benefit them morally, physically and psychologically. 

 

Balance seems to be the key.  What we need is to balance "our lives and those of our children to understand that the virtual world is far less important than the one that waits outside your door."

 

 

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Tablets for Your Brain

Tablets for Your Brain | Unplug | Scoop.it
Soon, we could be turning on the lights at home just by thinking about it, or sending an e-mail from our smartphone without even pulling the device from our pocket.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Want to turn on the lights in your dining room?  Just think about it.  Want to send a text from your smartphone? Just say the words in your head.  "Soon, we might interact with our smartphones and computers simply by using our minds."

 

This technology -- called brain computer interface -- was initially developed to help people with paralysis.  But before long, this technology could be in consumers' hands as well.

 

Wait!  This feels a bit familiar.  Where are you...WALL-E?

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Organic Communication: How To Keep 'iDisorders' From Overflowing

Organic Communication: How To Keep 'iDisorders' From Overflowing | Unplug | Scoop.it
Career skills require a more organic form of communication than many people today are wired for.


"Increases in narcissism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression are increasingly correlated with frequent use of technology.  Yet the person who can succeed in our soft and uncertain economy is still the one who can focus on one task, follow through on a commitment, and excel in face-to-face communication."

craig daniels's insight:

A great first step to integrate down time from always-on technology interaction is to shut everything off 60 minutes before bedtime. Just give yourself that little bit of space to meditate, read or talk with someone face to face about your day.


Nothing radical of painful will happen to you if you take this step but, I'm pretty sure some positive results will start showing up rather quickly.


Rob Asghar has penned this engaging piece for Forbes, I encourage you to read the whole of the article.

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