Issue 02: The Slow Scroll
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Welcome to Issue 02

Thanks for tuning into the second issue of The Slow Scroll. This week, it's all about tech addiction and the next generation. 

Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Phone

Idiot Box, A haunting portrait of a child in front of a screen by Donna Stevens.

Children are spending more and more time on screens than ever—one in four kids receive their first smartphone before the age of six. Studies have observed that with more screen time, changes to the brain structure occur, as well as a deterioration of well-being. The New York Times has already exhausted how Silicon Valley parents don’t allow their kids near the products of their own work, with former Facebook employee Athena Chavarria going so far to say “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children."

And yet, this latest piece on Digital Addiction offers a counter perspective that social media is “like food, it’s something we all need because of the way businesses run, because of the job market — and for teens it’s the way they socialize,”. Dr. Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor of developmental behavioral argues that the word ‘addiction’ puts too much of the blame on the user, and instead advocates for parents to talk to their children about the deliberately manipulative tactics of tech giants. 

Are the times of cell phone-less childhoods gone past? Check out this short film 'Phone Life', that explores the lives of two San Francisco residents: Matthew, a UX designer who’s never owned a cell phone, and Tess, a teenager who’s grown up with a smart phone. 

While we’re debating in the States, after the research proved that cell phones were distracting, France has already decided to ban them from schools, starting in the 2018-2019 school year.

Read the full article here and feel free to email us your thoughts on the matter. 

Book Recommendation
Hey Zoey, Get Off Your Phone!

For those with young kids in their lives that may be budding screen addicts, check out this children’s book by Brooklyn-based artist Dan Fox and Virginia Zamora, Hey Zoey! Get Off Your Phone! 

It’s a very cute story (if the actual existence of the book isn’t a bit Black Mirror-esque) about a girl who prefers spending time on her phone over friends, and the consequences that follow: her tripping on a tree and then getting stuck in her phone.

Check out the book here.

IRL Prompt: Hash Mark, Don’t Hashtag

Dear Data, a collection of postcards that showcase personal data with hand drawn illustrations

For one entire day, we challenge you to physically write down a tick mark each time you check your phone. This is a tactile way to create awareness about one's own digital habits (we're also inspired by Dear Data, a project where two gals track their daily habits through analog infographics).

Perhaps picking up a pencil or pen before you can pick up your phone will give you that gentle reminder to think: what are you really checking, and do you absolutely need to?

Once you’ve tried it, feel free to share with us how it went here, and any other tips for living IRL!

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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