Something to Read

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

The challenge with phubbing is that we don’t put equal weight on the interpretation – as Michael Wiederman describes, “We are much more likely to note positive intentions for our own behavior and less positive ones for similar behavior by others…So, when we look at an electronic device while someone is talking with us, we tend to feel it is justified. Perhaps there is an important notification that we are expecting or that might have just popped up, or we are looking up something relevant to the conversation at hand.”

Managing the effects of phubbing on communication is both something we need to actively pursue and something we need to reframe when assessing our audiences.

Something to Hear

Tristan Harris, who’s the former Goggle Design ethicist, will often talk about how our phones were designed like slot machines and they were designed to hijack our attention.

– Amy Blankson for The Happiness Lab
Photo by Bruno Gomiero on Unsplash

Do you ever feel like your phone, email, social media or other digital outlets have highjacked your brain and attention?

This is a hot topic in my house right now, where I’m working to develop a healthy relationship with technology for my 8-year-old…heck, I’m still trying to develop a healthy relationship with myself.

Human communication may seem like it has changed a great deal in the last 30 years, but we’re mostly using the same symbols to try and share our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. The symbols? Letters, which form words. Nonverbal behaviors, which adds context. The digital venues where we communicate are just channels for which the classic communication symbols are transferred –  eye contact, voice, posture, gestures. When used in the best intentions, digital channels can bring us together.

May 3 was Digital Wellness Day. Did you do know about it? If yes, did you make any adjustments to recognized the day?  – with the theme being digital balance. Next digital wellness day is May 2, 2025.

  • Hear “10 Tips to Achieve Digital Balance” from Amy Blankson during Season 8, Episode 16 of The Happiness Lab podcast with Dr. Laurie Santos. You can find the episode titled, “Tame those Devices: 10 Tips to Achieve Digital Balance” at the Pushkin homepage or wherever you get your podcasts.

Something to Do

Turn your phone color scheme to grayscale for a day.

Photo by Sam te Kiefte on Unsplash

While writing this month’s collection, I switched my phone to grayscale for the day. It was a strange change and it worked just as Amy Blankson described in The Happiness Lab podcast (see May’s Something to Hear)…it made my phone suddenly a lot less interesting to look at. The day I tried this grayscale technique, was the most gorgeous blue-sky spring day. It made everything around me look like technicolor and the phone just another thing sitting on my desk. Pretty amazing the shift and I hope you’ll try it too.

Full discloser on the photo I selected – I took a screen grab of my phone in grayscale. The colors just come right on back when looking at it on a device that is using color. ….save yourselves people!!

Something to See

Lighting up the night.

In keeping with the technology them of this month’s collection, I am sharing a photo from a party this month. It was the annual fundraiser for the theater where my husband works and the theme was “Futuristic Fashion”…it seemed almost obvious that we wear light-up shoes for the event. We nabbed these on Amazon and I have to admit, I may never where another shoe to a formal event ever again!