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A fresh start

Welcome to issue 01!

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Hi there. It's been a while.
 

In fact for many of you reading this, it's probably the first time that you've heard from me since signing up to this newsletter. That's because... well, I haven't been writing any! In fact, after a quick check there have been a total of 2 emails sent out to this list in the last 3 years 😂
 

So why are you hearing from me now? Put simply, this is the beginning of a new phase for Mind over Tech. We are still a young company that has chosen to pursue a path of slow but sustainable growth, and the first few years of our existence have been focused on establishing our roots. This has meant a focus on bringing our workshops and courses to corporate clients, allowing us to validate the value of our offering while also establishing the necessary revenue streams to sustain us.
 

This is still our primary focus but now, with over 2 years of experience and a backlog of content to our name, we are taking some tentative steps towards the second stage of our plan. This involves broadening our audience beyond corporates and sharing our knowledge with any individual who is interested in exploring their digital habits. In time, it will even mean the introduction of some brand new products and services. Keep your eyes peeled 👀
 

As a consequence you can now expect this newsletter to start operating like it's got its act together. What does that mean? Well, currently two things:

  1. An ongoing monthly newsletter from myself which releases on the second Thursday of each month (this very email being the first one, I just missed the deadline by a day)
  2. A series of roughly 20 emails called Lab Tests that will be sent out weekly. Each episode will share some practical experiments for you to integrate in your life, and you can read more about it in the article highlighted further down.


Right now you are automatically signed up to receive both of these—we are trying hard to get the balance right to make sure we are sharing a manageable amount of useful information, but if you would like to unsubscribe from either (or both!) of these then you can update your preferences here.


I will also be experimenting with the format of this newsletter, and in time will probably run other mini-series of emails around specific themes. If you have any thoughts you'd like to share about what you're reading here (or what you'd like to see in the future) then I'd be delighted to hear from you.
 

—Jonathan


 

About Mind over Tech


Since it may have been some time since you signed up for this newsletter, I thought it may be useful to refresh you about Mind over Tech; what we stand for and what we do. 


Our belief is that one of the most important skills for the future is learning how to cultivate agency over your tech—in other words, to make sure that you feel in control of it. Only then can it becomes a tool that amplifies your purpose, instead of distracting from it.

Since 2018 we have worked with companies across all industries, with clients including Natwest Group, KPMG, Vodafone, Google, The Cabinet Office, Just Eat and The Guardian. In each case we work with teams to help their people develop a personalised plan for adopting good Digital Habits as part of their skillsets.

Beyond working with businesses, Mind over Tech’s longterm goal is to work with freelancers, creatives, schools, parents, children and individuals from all walks of life—basically anyone who could benefit from being in control of their relationship with technology!

Selected posts from our website

Introducing Lab Tests

Starting Tuesday May 18th, we will be unlocking two experiments from the Digital Habit Lab each week and sharing them them out to the world via our newsletter... Continue reading
Browse all posts.

 

💭 Reflection

What role does tech play in managing my stress levels?


 

Tech stresses us out, right? An overflowing inbox, a stream of notifications interrupting your train of thought, a system update exactly when you don't need it... the idea that technology is bad for our mental health is beyond cliché at this point. It's not hard to understand why—we can all relate to that feeling of discomfort in our own skin after a Netflix binge or session of doom-scrolling on the sofa.

The thing is, tech is not inherently stressful—if it was, then we definitely wouldn't be reaching for it as often as we do. As with most things, it often comes down to the way that we engage with it. 

For example research into the impact of video games on mental health, while in its infancy, is beginning to show that they are capable of affecting a clear sense of wellbeing in players.  

And it's not just software but hardware too, it seems, that can be a source of benefit to our wellbeing. In a recent study, researchers explored the fact that our smartphones are highly portable, personal and tactile objects which afford us a sense of privacy. They found that this combination of characteristics mean our phones are capable of being a genuine source of comfort:

In addition to obvious functional benefits, consumers in fact derive emotional benefits from their smartphone—in particular, feelings of psychological comfort and, if needed, actual stress relief. In other words, in a sense, smartphones are not unlike adult pacifiers.


This image is at once slightly alarming (let's not pretend that pacifiers are without their controversies) and yet also a highly relatable bit of good news. If we can understand this more, then maybe we can become more skilled in turning our phone into a device for soothing our nervous system, instead of inflaming it.

This is something, then, that's probably worth reflecting on.

Here are some prompts to get you started:
  • What are some examples of times when technology is a genuine source of comfort for you?
  • What type of tech use will reliably end up making you feel stressed or dissatisfied?
  • To what extent could your compare your phone to a comfort blanket?

You may also enjoy

The Downloadable Brain
The latest season from Cognitive Sensations examines the biological connection between humans and technology through a series of artworks and events and runs until the end of June 2021... Learn more

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