rDigital News: Digital detox, online privacy and more

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This week, the biggest stories in tech news painted a picture of a future where your shoes can give you directions and privacy lives in a new space online and off. And with our constant connectivity, some are choosing to reconnect with reality by unplugging from our digital world.

Learn more about these stories and more in this week’s rDigital News roundup:

Photo credit: Loic Le Meur via WikiCommons
Photo credit: Loic Le Meur via WikiCommons

Wearable tech is about more than just fashion

Wearable tech may be the future of fashion accessories, but it has also opened a door for multiple life changing innovations for disabled customers. In a recent Mobile Minute video, produced by tech site Mashable, host Jen Quinlan took a quick look at how wearable tech is improving lives. For instance, Google Glass can be enabled to help people with physical disabilities improve their communication and connectivity. Other wearable tech, such as smart shoes and and vests, connect to a smartphone to help users navigate the real world.

With  technology changing how we experience the world,  the gap between our digital lives and our reality is quickly closing.

Will wearable tech change how we connect with each other? Or, who we are able to connect with?

Why privacy is actually thriving online

In recent Walrus TV series, we explored the biggest issues in privacy—from surveillance to revenge porn to the social bargain that we enter into every time we go online. And while many of these episodes painted a picture of a future without privacy, a recent Wired article asserts that privacy still exists in our digital world.

The article, published Monday, argued that the idea of privacy has changed and it is now reflected in what we choose not to upload—what happens in between each post and status update that we actively do not share with the world. In addition, for younger generations, statuses and tweets are crafted with hidden meanings so that private messages can be sent even in public forums. According to author Nathan Jurgenson,  rather than choosing between public or private, in our digital world, publicity and privacy are mutually dependent.

Digital detox

Technology is becoming a literal part of the fabric of modern society and research indicates that this digital overload is having some harmful effects. The data overload has been cited as a contributing factor to the rise in stress-related disorders, according to a recent article in Mashable.

With our constant need to connect online, one Guelph family decided to reconnect with reality by going off the grid and living life like it’s 1986. The family of four has gone iPad and smartphone free in an attempt to go without modern tech for a year, according to the feature story published in the Globe and Mail

For those looking for a slightly less long-term digital detox, consider the National Day of Unplugging coming up on March 7-8, 2014. Learn more about digital overload and the idea of unplugging from the event’s founder, Shane Hankins:


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