Ten weeks ago, 2019 rang in and like everyone with a New Year's resolution, I had an ambitious plan. I wanted to write more so I set a goal to write every week about how technology can help change our perspective. I believe that writing forces us to think, which is critical today because we can affect countless lives as quickly as we can press the enter key on our keyboard. …
“I’m going to act illogically today!” are words I’ve never said. I think it’s safe to say that most people haven’t.
Regardless of how strange a behavior might seem, they are committed by rational actors. We often forget that our idea of normal is not universal. How we perceive and act in the world is a result of our context and upbringing.
In the past, understanding each other was much more natural because we had to interact with each other in our daily life. Coffee shops were places to discuss topics of import, rather than a place to experience solitude. Ironically, in the age of globalization, we can live for days without interacting with anyone else. Today, we can live behind screens and only interact with people we want to — often, only with people just like us. …
I get distracted a lot throughout the day. Though my commute to work is only 15 minutes, I don’t think I’ve ever succeeded in keeping one line of thought the entire time.
It may be a millennial malady, but the death of attention is pervasive. Today we think about attention as a currency and as a battlefield to be fought over by corporations.
That being said, although it’s true that the torrent of external distractions chips away at our attention span, most of the time our ability to stay in the present is not stolen by them, but rather by our internal conflict. …
Recently, for the first time in a while, I cooked handmade spinach infused pasta. Though I was proud of my achievement, I was less proud that I had leftover ingredients. It turns out that you don’t need an entire block of cheese when cooking for a person or two. Suffice to say, I ate pasta for a while. And some of that cheese… well, it’s still in my fridge.
Not only is food waste a huge financial issue — costing the United States alone $218 billion annually — it’s also one of the top three problems related to climate change. Ironically, the lack of reliable access to food is also a significant problem, affecting 1 in 8 Americans. …
Living in the city surrounded by more people than people would have met in past lifetimes can ironically be the loneliest thing in the world. We brush shoulders, but never share them. We smile at each other, but never at the joy or sadness that lies behind it.
In the transience of cities and the hustle and bustle of getting ahead, connecting with others and ourselves falls by the wayside. It’s not until we’re wanting dinner with a friend that we realize most of them are only acquaintances. At the same time, reflecting on our life seems like an unnecessary detour from “living our best life.” …
Every now and then we find ourselves wanting to be part of a new thing — whether it be a new city, a new subculture, or even a new relationship.
Usually, however, we immediately get lost. The deluge of new things leave us to reconsider whether the new passion is worth pursuing. The first step to getting involved is the first step to falling out of love.
The plethora of monthly subscription boxes reflects our attempt to make more accessible the infinite subcultures that pervades our world. Simultaneously, it taps into our penchant for laziness. Continuing to replace your toothbrush or water filter is so much easier when it’s delivered to your door. …
I spend a good hour a week staring inside stores. Not blankly, but rather into the essential capitalist existential crisis. Should I buy this, or not?
Financial wellbeing is core to our agency — whether it be for the crucial things in life like the roof over our heads, or for the guilty pleasure of a chocolate bar. …
Every couple of months, a conversation about diversity would come up, and I’d cite this story that I read a long time ago. Every time I mention it, I would search for hours trying to find it, but to no avail. I don’t know where it went, or why I can’t find it, but it changed my perspective forever. My butchered oral retelling is something like this:
I grew up as an inner city kid in the east coast. I always thought that Facebook is a cool website made by a few people, max 10. Everyone discouraged me from doodling in class all day, and that success is becoming a doctor. At some point I was part of a school trip where I mingled with adults. There, by chance, I bumped into someone who worked in Silicon Valley. Much to my surprise, that person told me that Facebook in fact hired thousands of people. Furthermore, some of them get paid six-figures to draw all day. He then told me about UI/UX design and its value. That random five minute conversation I had with a stranger changed the path I walked forever. Now I’m a designer at a large tech firm. …
Imagination is a funny thing because it can make us believe that we know something that we, in reality, do not.
Suppose you’re trying to convince your friend the environmental impact of the burger they are in line for. You may tell them that 1lbs of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water. Or that a ¼ lbs burger patty requires 460 gallons of water.
And after barfing data all over the counter, you may feel like you’ve given your friend the right weight to balance on their moral compass: Enjoy the next five minutes, vs. …
One of the most fascinating parts of design is how the tiniest details can engender different behavior. For example, when Twitter changed their favorite button to likes, they saw a 28% increase in feature usage. Nevermind the fact that the tiny Like button itself probably modified our social fabric forever.
Right now most note taking app focuses on showing you previous notes rather than creating a note. One can argue that in this design, from the get-go, there’s a barrier to adding new ideas: having to find the “create” button. …