Digital Wellbeing Curation


Key Content of Course.

1-Breaking ADs

“Breaking Ad”s, the episode that introduced the creation of popups as they needed user freedom in terms of the right to un-see/close an ADss. Moreover, the video mentioned the usages and importance of cookies in our web browsers as a data mining and tracking tool that is mostly used to run targeted ads to online users. I have learned about the usage of the cookies tool and how it is implemented in our browsers, nevertheless being a Computer Engineering major I was not introduced to cookies except in this course. There is nothing I did not like about the video, however it was one of the best videos I watched throughout the semester as it was engaging and asked about data while playing and gave spontaneous results and infographics. I think my colleagues should watch it in order to understand what is cookies and the idea of targeted programmatic marketing.



“Tracking the Trackers”, Gray Kovacs’s Ted talk, gave a lot of impressive statistics on the number of online users and  online Trackers.  The ted talks mentioned that at any point of time 30% of the world population are surfing the internet doing various activities and the young generation spends an average of 8 hours daily surfing the internet, specifically the social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Moreover,  Kovacs showed that the number of trackers over time is an exponential function that increases rapidly with increasing  number of website visits per day. Not to mention, Kovacs introduced his creative tool to detect all websites that track data and gave them various colours labeled Blue, Red, and Grey that represent websites a person visit, websites a person did not visit, and websites a person have no idea about what are they respectively. Nevertheless, I think relying on this Ted talks is somehow bias as Kovacs was mentioning only cons in order to make a showcase of his company’s new product, collusion!



3- The Problem With DeleteFacebook

“The Problem With DeleteFacebook”, an article by  April Glaser, focuses mainly on the problems and consequences of anti-social media in an anti-social media manner. The article starts by highlighting the problem with Facebook, which is that they allowed thousands of app developers to extract data about users from Facebook which is a common terminology when signing up t any app using Facebook. Moreover, what raised the concerns of the author was that Facebook leaked, allegedly got hacked, data about 50 Million users to Trump’s  campaign’s voter targeting firm, Cambridge Analytica, which has helped in targeting users with emotionally precise digital messaging to influence them to vote to Trump. Moreover, the article addresses the problem of Isolation in case of boy-cutting facebook which will leave you alone. As an anti-social media activist she uses Facebook, the social media platform, to share her thoughts and opinions and communicate with other activists. However, what i did like about this article was that the author is sort of clever and take guts as she uses a social media platform to influence boy-cutting it.


4- This Panda Is Dancing – Time Well Spent

“This Panda Is Dancing – Time Well Spent”, is addressing the problem of lacking self control over how much time we spend online in a rhyming-words form. Generally, the algorithm behind the idea of autoplay when opening a certain video whether on Facebook or Netflix as they have an automatic play for the next videos in a queue form which requires active-abortion to end the video queue or it will keep playing till it reached the queue’s end. What is really dangerous is that the videos played are based on your interest which will keep seducing you to watch more. From the video’s point of view, technologically enhanced means humanity enhanced which leads to leaving our phones in our pockets and interacting more with the real word.  The video itself is catchy and direct with no deviations and the examples were perfectly to the point. 


5- “How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day”

“How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day”, a Ted talk by Tristan Harri, an ex google design ethicist, illustrates the race the tech giants undergoing over user’s attention. This can start from designing what to appear on the feed, type of notification received that gets you hooked into something for long periods. Moreover, Harri mentioned that tech is randomly in one direction which is maximum attention gaining of user. Snapchat being the number one mean of communication between teenagers has created a snap-streak feature that counts number of consecutive days teens has been communicating together, an obvious example was given by Harri.  I think this is bias as the companies focuses on competing over attention and competition can lead to unethical decisions and acts taken by these companies as each is trying to gte lower in the brainstem of the users. It is all about giving people something they do not wanna lose. I think my colleagues need to see this video in order to understand that this problem is equivalent if not more important than the privacy problem.


6- “How to Shed Distracted Parenting Guilt and Transform into a Digital Hero”

“How to Shed Distracted Parenting Guilt and Transform into a Digital Hero”, article focuses on the parental role in digital welling of kids. Kids look up to their parents and what they do  with their time and how much do they spend online. The article focuses on 4 main approaches which is Empathy over hypocrisy which means in case there is nothing left to be done in the day and the kid has carried out all of the tasks required as cleaning the room or going to the gym why not allow some time for device usage. Routines Over Rules, another approach introduced that does not use rules or regulations over device usage but a daily routine such as a breakfast discussion that illustrates what each family member is to do during his day. Finally, Joy over guilt, which is embedding the concept of joy to non-virtual activities in a way that when a kid is spending too much time virtually the parent can make the kid do something more attractive to him than just playing video games. I think this article would benefit my colleagues if they have little siblings as they can introduces these techniques to their parents of perform them themselves.  


7- “Screen time for kids: Getting the balance right” 

“Screen time for kids: Getting the balance right”, an article that includes and info-graph that illustrates the common questions to be addressed by parents whom are worried about their kid’s internet usage and monitoring. This article aims to provide more effective methods than just fearing the usage of technology through clock watching as it helps parents track whether their children are gaining or losing and what are they gaining or losing from being online. It also checks the safeness and usefulness of online usages for children.  The info-graph addresses the questions of what might and should a children be learning, whether it is more-or-less normal vs worrisome usage, and the Singpost resource which helps find information about usefulness of digital media and safeness. This article and it’s info-graph are of a top priority to every parent who is worried about his/her kids online-safeness as it divides into what do children learn online, quality screen time, and 

useful resources. 


Blog Post Comment

8- Do not Track,

Do not Track, a blog post by Hanan Rashwan, argues that technological advancements have done more harm to society than good which is proof-less. Technology has helped any people to learn, innovate, and a lot of other things. I disagree with here as technology is like any other think in this universe, it has its bad and good it all depends on the way a person interacts with it, the same gun that kills the police officer can kill a serial killer it is about who and how it is used. I quote “your genetics load the gun, your life pulls the trigger”. In conclusion, Technology is a double edged weapon it is all about how we use it. 


Reflection on in class activities

9- Not spending much time on Digital Wellbeing in class mad it hard to carry out every aspect of the curation such as reflecting on in-class activities, however the  in-class activity we did on the 4 articles of Chris Gilliard, April Glaser, Autumm Caines, and Brian Merchant has paved the path to get started with the topic. During this in-class discussion i was quite i did not talk as i wanted to assess what other’s think about technology and specifically social media. What i noticed was that people fear technology and the fear it because they do not know how it actually works. A computer is capable of doing a lot of amazing stuff fast and tediously. Nevertheless, computers are not that smart they cary out a sequence of lines of code that a human being has wrote. Moreover, a human being can err which 

causes a computer or a device to err. I think what we should really fear is the people behind this tech, the people who wrote these lines of code and how do they view us, our attention, and our privacy not a machine that was created to ease people lives. This discussion has broaden my perception on tech opinions of  people whom have no tech background.


Additional resources used during learning about the topic.


An article by Chris Weller, address that while we are so engaged with technology and advancements we should question how do the creator of such technology interact with it and use it. The article illustrates the unexpected perceptions of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other  on  technology.  Jobs raised his kids tech-free and prohibited them from using any devices before the age of 14. In the same token, Gates talked in an interview about how getting rid of his mobile device made his life more revolutionised. If there is one thing they both have ever agreed on, its that that technology is addictive and like any addictive product, never get hooked on your products! This has raised my concerns about the effect of technology on me and on my little sister as the creators prohibited their children and fam from regular usage. The most important thing is not that they prohibited their kids, but why did they prohibit their kids! The answer is still under investigation. Was it because it a privacy concern, paying over attention to them, or a health hazard. 



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