Hello friends, it’s Drea. Great to be back.
What's been on my mind lately?
Well, I could start by inviting you all to my headphones' funeral I've just recently begun planning (RIP) or pass along the tip that going to town with pliers isn't exactly the best way to fix a bent headphone jack. I could even go into detail about how seriously grateful I am to have spent this past weekend with so many loving friends and family members. Extra special shoutout to mushroom gravy (thanks mom).
All of these topics demanding my attention, but which will be alluring enough to get your attention? Which reminds me - have you heard the term 'attention economy' yet?
If not, this seems like a good time to tell you that your attention may be the most valuable yet subtle force fueling today's economy.
Attention = Familiarity = Trust
Not only is your attention being claimed by advertisements throughout shop windows, billboards, magazines, logos and other physical spaces, it's also being increasingly targeted within digital ones.
When was the last time you could walk down the street and meet eyes free from smartphone glue? According to comScore’s 2017 Cross Platform Future in Focus report, the average American spends 2 hours and 51 minutes per day engaged with their mobile phone.
Is there anywhere we can exist without being advertised to? If so, in which spaces do we decide consumerism has permeated too deeply? And in the case of our own data being collected, do we have a right to privacy?
Of course, advertisements are the backbone of capitalism, and they can be a beautiful thing. How would Sony have ever sold me such a fantastic pair of headphones (whom I loved so dearly), if I hadn't been psychologically primed to think of their brand as reputable?
So I guess I'm not suggesting we rid the entire world of advertisements, effectively destroying capitalism as we know it. But maybe there could be a limit to how much we're personally psychologically primed according to information that companies like Amazon, Uber, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat collect about our lives. Maybe social media, a place meant to connect us with our friends and larger communities, shouldn't be fragmented by commercialism.
Maybe you could try Junto.
Bottom Line: Hello Big Brother!
Although data isn't the new oil, there's no denying that the companies profiting from this resource have amassed significant amounts of influence in the process. So which societal impacts do you want to support?
Sincerely wondering where you're going to place your attention,
The End of the Beginning
A very well delivered talk, effectively summarizing what tech has done for us in the past 20 years (the easy problems) and what it can do in the next 20 (the harder problems). Take a look at the trend of capital distribution in all industries over the past few years as a result of technological advancements and where we can expect global capital to move. (source: Ben-Evans.com)
I Left My Cushy Job to Study Depression. Here’s What I Learned.
An often sensitive topic of which there is much to describe and deliberate, depression is something all of us have encountered, whether directly or indirectly. Elitsa Dermendzhiyska gives a heart warming and well articulated rundown of her personal experiences with depression as well as a year-long initiative in the pursuit of conversation about it. She spoke to a range of individuals from all walks of life — anyone who was eager to offer their thoughts, experiences, expert insights or first hand accounts. In addition to expressing her surprise about how open the majority of people were to talk about it, she tells a captivating and eye-opening story of the common threads she discovered. We'd like to leave it open to your interpretation. Give it a read here. (source: Medium)
IRL Ads Are Taking Scary Inspiration From Social Media
The conversation about privacy ensues as targeted ads evolve using AI tracking technology. Did you know that a billboard can show you targeted ads based on the brand of your car or the kind of clothes you wear when you’re standing near it? If you have a “digital doppelgänger” (namely a consumer profile and mobile ad ID with interests, attributes, age, income, marital status, behavioral habits, etc.), does privacy really exist? (source: Medium)
Did we miss something? Come across a piece that you want to share with a larger audience? Send it our way and we’ll put it in queue for our next newsletter.
Here’s what our team found valuable this week:
The past week has been very densely packed.
Amongst a greater than ever before appreciation for family is a growing awareness of the following: formlessness. It’s funny and striking that writing or trying to explain the word directly contradicts its limitless nature!
Attending Ecstatic Dance last night was unlike any releasing, formlessly floating experience I’ve had. This community holds dance events that are drug and alcohol free. The point is to embark on your own, often transformative (at least for me), musical journey of “conscious dance and freeform movement” as they describe it on their site. Absolutely letting go in an environment of amazing music and flailing individuals (with cool hair) is something usually encountered at a festival, concert or club/bar scene. Quite rarely, if ever, do we encounter sober spaces designated for this sort of freeing and loving atmosphere.
I was lucky enough to experience my first ecstatic dance in a spacious and magical church rented out for the evening (right by Washington Square Park). Those who attended were of a very wide age group and demographic. Thank you, Josh, for bringing the whole team along.
I could go on about all of this for a while, but I digress. In conclusion, it was an evening of pure emotion and fun. Without a doubt, I’ll be attending another in the near future!
Happy to hear from you - email@example.com :)
Neuroanatomist Jill Boyle Taylor experienced ‘oneness’ as her left brain hemisphere temporarily shut down due to a stroke. This is her captivating scientific and experiential explanation of the workings of the human brain and the nature of perception. A great TED classic.
Creator of the week (aka weekly demigoddess)
#ConfessionsOfMyBubblegum | Ella Frauenhofer
“So what exactly is a confession of yours/mine/our/theirs/hers/his bubblegum? Well. That’s up for interpretation. But basically, it’s related to all the sticky, juicy, and flavorful or flavorless, stories, emotions, humiliations, flirtations, melancholies, connectedness, and egos that only our bubblegum will ever fully know. It can be taken literally or metaphorically. What flavor of gum did you pop in your mouth that night you decided you’d absolutely be putting your flirt on? Were you trying to be fruity or fresh? What secrets lie within all the wise bubblegums stuck underneath the counter at the dive bar you always end up at? How are you really feeling? Like a fresh stick, sugar-coating the ups and downs in life? Or like a Bazooka blob, chewed up after five minutes and already losing its flavor? Raw. Real. Used up. But with a story to tell. A comic.
Bubblegum is a symbol of rebellion. and youth. Chomp down; chew with your mouth open; who cares. We don’t. Blow the biggest bubble you can, and pop it. Snap it. Startle someone. Share that ABC gum. Already-been-chewed? Pass it on over, and let’s see what yours has been through. Let’s connect. Let’s be honest. Let’s rebel.”
What’s your bubblegum’s confession?
This may be a surprise to you, but here at Junto we’re all about expression that flows. A+++ to you, Ella. For more writing, illustrations & merch, check out #ConfessionsOfMyBubblegum’s website and instagram.
We want your feedback.
Like what you see? Share it! Think we can be doing things better? Let us know. We’re open to ideas so DM us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop any of the team members a note at their individual emails listed on our website here.