Issue 03: The Slow Scroll
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Welcome to Issue 03

Thanks for tuning into the third issue of The Slow Scroll. This week, it's all about focus and staying in the present moment. Challenge: read this email all the way through. We promise it's worth it.

You're Not Distracted, You're Not Bored Enough

If you're working right now, you're likely reading this on your laptop, or maybe your phone. If so, your ability to focus is a staggering... 40 seconds. Do you have Slack open? We now only have 35 seconds together. 

In the hopes of reclaiming our attention and time, we highly encourage you to take sixteen minutes to watch this incredible TEDx talk by Chris Bailey, How To Get Your Brain to Focus. He argues that we aren't distracted in this age of multiple screens all around us all the time, but rather our brains are overstimulated

After deep diving into all the research of focus, self-proclaimed 'anti-hustler' Bailey learned that our minds don't wander anymore. But when we do let our minds have space, we can grow our attention span, foster our creativity, and make better plans for the future.

Read More: 7 Strategies to Keep Your Phone From Taking Over Your Life.

Next Up, Apple's Domination of Your... Ears

The tech world isn't satisfied with dominating the attention we give with our eyes—up next, total domination of our ears. Consider: How often do you wear headphones? What are your feelings on AirPods?

The Atlantic recently argued for the case to wear AirPods all the time in favor of battling unwanted harassment and to be perceived as less threatening. But is that simply a bandaid for larger issues? 

After reading this fascinating piece Always In by Drew Austin, you may have good cause to be a bit weary of the ubiquitous, wireless headphones that are popping up everywhere.

The 'AirPod Barrier' is "a soft but recognizable obstacle to interpersonal interaction not unlike that of phone usage... You don’t have to look down at a screen to convey that your mind might be elsewhere — that you are dividing your attention between your physical surroundings and other kinds of interactions, hearing other voices. AirPods efficiently communicate your refusal to pretend to be 'fully present'".

An AirPod filled future may spell voice-enabled ads, a world where wearing AirPods in a conversation is not rude, and Instagrammable blank spaces where the most stimulating objects in front of you is your screen and AirPods. 

iAddicted? There's An...App For That

If you can't help but compulsively pick up your phone and you keep overriding the screen time limitations, there are a few apps (oh the irony) to help keep you off the digital dope(amine). 

Moment acts as a digital coach, complete with training exercises to get your screen time down. For those who crave a harsher method, Flipd will block your social media apps from your phone even if you reset it. For a fun party trick or family dinners, check out Ransomly, which is a bluetooth beacon and app that blocks any home screen that comes in the range of its signal. 

For an app free experience, switch out your device for a Light Phone or wander over to a Yondr event.

Why ‘The Slow Scroll’?

Social Isolation is Killing Us. Tech companies are failing us. And we’re all hopelessly addicted to our screens.

Living IRL has never been more important.

That’s why we created The Slow Scroll, a weekly newsletter by IRL Labs, sent directly to your inbox (oh the irony). The Slow Scroll curates the latest and most inspiring content and resources, empowering readers to untether and live slowly.
Send this to a friend who needs to slow down. Then grab a cup of coffee with them.

Brought to you by...

Ivan Cash, Editor-in-Chief
Cyrena Lee, Editor and Lead Writer
Erin Ellis, Illustrator

Emily Lin, Producer

Mailing Address
IRL Labs
PO BOX 24213
Oakland, CA 94623
Copyright © 2019 IRL Labs, All rights reserved.
The Slow Scroll is a curated newsletter dedicated to helping you live IRL. 
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