Nir Eyal on how to beat tech addiction: We need a new skill set

The behavioural scientist has advised tech companies on how to get people hooked now hes telling us how to break the habit Follow Eyals guide to avoiding digital distraction I am 10 minutes late for my interview withIndistractable: How To Control Your Attention And Choose Your Life, a guide to staying focused in an age of constant distraction. The hope is that he will teach me, a chronic procrastinator, how to stop wasting my life scrolling through my phone, and finally write that novel. Or, at the very least, be on time for appointments. Dressed in Tech Dad chic a crisp button-down shirt and jeans Eyal already has coffee and looks busy when I burst in. He dropped his daughter …

Jenny Odell on why we need to learn to do nothing: It’s a reminder that you’re alive

The author and artists keynote address on our fractured attention spans went viral. Now she has a plan for how to heal them: lose ourselves in nature Nearly two years ago, the artist and academic Jenny Odell gave a keynote address on how to do nothing. In it she talked about the impact of modern lifes ceaseless demands on our time and attention, a situation where every waking moment has become pertinent to our making a living. And she discussed how she herself had found respite in nature. Her talk was written for the Eyeo festival in Minneapolis described as for the creative technology community and attended by the kind of blue-sky thinkers unlikely to balk at references to concepts …

Why are thirtysomethings lonely? Because society doesnt value friendship | Arwa Mahdawi

Social media has been made the scapegoat for millennials reporting loneliness, but the cultural primacy in adulthood of career and family has much to answer for, writes Arwa Mahdawi Millennials arent just the poorest generation; they are also the loneliest. According to data from YouGov, while digital habits undoubtedly affect mental health, research hasnt provided conclusive answers regarding the relationship between the two. When it comes to loneliness, I have a feeling that the culprit isnt so much technology as the fact that many millennials are in their 30s, which is a natural time for friendship dynamics to change: people start focusing on advancing their careers and building families rather than socialising with pals. It feels as if we are …

We just clicked: why I set out to find a new group of friends online

Can a friendship app, a digital neighbourhood noticeboard or Facebook really help me discover a new bestie? This year started with a bang. It burst into life with fireworks and kisses, and then came the sound of a spoon tapping on a wine glass. Since were all together, said my friend, I wanted to say its been an honour knowing you while Ive been in London. Another leaving speech. I have heard many over the past few years, watching loved ones leave in search of job opportunities or housing security, or as a cure for homesickness. Later, as I lay in bed, I thought about my rate of friend attrition. How long until I found myself totally alone? Five years? …

Biofourmis raises $35M to develop smarter treatments for chronic diseases

Biofourmis, a Singapore-based startup pioneering a distinctly tech-based approach to the treatment of chronic conditions, has raised a $35 million Series B round for expansion. The round was led by Sequoia India and MassMutual Ventures, the VC fund from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Other investors who put in include EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, China-based healthcare platform Jianke and existing investors Openspace Ventures, Aviva Ventures and SGInnovate, a Singapore government initiative for deep tech startups. The round takes Biofourmis to $41.6 million raised to date, according to Crunchbase. This isn’t your typical TechCrunch funding story. Biofourmis CEO Kuldeep Singh Rajput moved to Singapore to start a PhD, but he dropped out to start the …

UK sets out safety-focused plan to regulate internet firms

The UK government has laid out proposals to regulate online and social media platforms, setting out the substance of its long-awaited White Paper on online harms today — and kicking off a public consultation. The Online Harms White Paper is a joint proposal from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Home Office. The paper can be read in full here (PDF). It follows the government announcement of a policy intent last May, and a string of domestic calls for greater regulation of the internet as politicians have responded to rising concern about the mental health impacts of online content. The government is now proposing to put a mandatory duty of care on platforms to take reasonable …