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Welcome!

Thank you all for subscribing to Society x Tech. Can't wait to continuously explore different topics about how technology trends have influenced the way we operate in our communities. Our first issue is discussing Mindful Tech. Scroll down to read more.

Mindful tech is an area that focuses on creating and designing applications and services that encourage users to to becoming more aware of their present moment. Examples of these applications include:
  • Headspace 
  • Calm
  • Stop, Breath, & Think
  • Mindshift 
There are over 1,300 apps dedicated to meditation and mindfulness with the leader being headspace valued at $250 Million.
A look at the positive implications of this trend.
Technology Might Be the Answer to Mental Health Crisis

By using technology based applications as a way to improve one's mental health, it allows more accessibility, affordability, as well as aid in getting rid of the stigma surrounding mental health. We use our smartphones not only to communicate with others, but also to access information which can even lead to accessing help. 

Do Mindfulness Apps Work?

Meditation and Mindfulness apps aren't just about learning how to be more aware in your present day life for an affordable rate. If used properly, it can also be a driving force to cultivate happier and healthier communities both locally and globally. 
 
Some things to consider within mindful technology
Can an app help us in this busy high-tech world?

Location and association are essential when trying to execute best mindful practices. For example, if you try meditating by your desk at work, you will probably still be thinking about work when you're supposed to be meditating. It is better to dedicate a particular space to focus on being mindful and because of this, using your phone, a device that serves multiple purposes for you, as a place to also begin mindful practices may not actually be beneficial.

My complicated quest to find the perfect meditation app

"There's such a rush to translate mindfulness that works well and push it onto a technology platform," says John Torous, who leads the American Psychiatric Association's work group on the evaluation of smartphone apps. "What does it mean to be mindful with a phone? Mindfulness in person is a lot different than mindfulness on your phone on the subway during rush hour."

If we are using the mindful apps and services, how mindful do we feel within our current space? It can potentially be the starting place for mindfulness, but with so many apps out there, how do we decide on the best one that actually suits our needs and encourages true mindful behaviors and practices?
 
An interview featuring a maker working on a product within the mindful tech space.
This month's newsletter is featuring Anne-Laure Le Cunff. Anne-Laure is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and community builder. After working at Google in San Francisco, where she managed global marketing for digital health, she moved to London to start Ness Labs, a venture studio developing products focused on wellness, creativity, and culture. Her work has been featured in WIRED, Forbes, and more. She is also a MSc of Applied Neuroscience candidate at King’s College. One of the products that she's created is called Teeny Breaks, a chrome extension offering mindfulness tips every time users open a new tab. You can check out her interview here


If you're working on something that's aligned to a trend in technology and would like to be featured, please fill out this form so I can get in contact. 
Can meditation and mindfulness apps be used to foster effective mindful practices? Here are my thoughts on the issue.
I think that having mindful technology applications and services brings more awareness and accessibility to the practice of being more mindful. While we're accessing countless amounts of information through our own personal devices, we can get so consumed that we need a reminder to take a step back and enjoy the moment you're in.

That being said, I think that it really only provides a starting point. I don't feel like you can truly be effective using an app as your only source to tap into mindfulness and that effective and better mindful practices can be achieved by stepping away from your devices.

I would also encourage makers and developers when creating new products and services to build and design mindfully. Place emphasis on building technology that doesn't keep users addicted and prides itself on being reliable when needed. 

What do you think? Tweet me so we can discuss. Additionally, fill out this survey so I can better  your perspective to include in a future addition.
Thanks for tuning into the first issue! Also, if you have any feedback, please email me.
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