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#Catfished

You may already be familiar with the concept through MTV’s  popular ‘’Catfish: The TV Show’’, an American reality-based docu series about the truths and lies of online dating. If not, let me hereby introduce you to the Catfish: a person who creates false identities to give the impression of being attractive, while he or she actually is a complete or near opposite of that portrayed. Catfishes use various social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to particularly pursue deceptive online romances.

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The reason of the tv shows’ popularity lays within its power of confrontation and shocking revelations; the filmmakers literary bring together couples who have interacted solely through their LCD screens. What will happen when these romantics meet in real life for the first time after months of years of online dating?

Enough about the show; the purpose of this blog is not to make you watch it or promote it in any sense. However, I do want to address the ‘’dark side’’ of social media on human psychology in here. Catfishing, various addictions, cyber-bullying, and the online child pornography industry are just some examples.

Now let me zoom in on the actual catfishing phenomenon, because I think it may be somewhat entertaining or appealing to you readers. Catfishers now have the opportunity to not only exercise and thereby worsen their mental issues, but also suck others into them. Their mental disorders and lies can now also impact and literary destroy lives of others and I find that very striking. Of course, the victims or #catfished may be too naïve, impulsive or ignorant. But I am wondering if we then need to become suspicious all the time and lose all trust in social media. When will we as a society be able to use social media and internet in a ‘’right’’ way and what would the Internet look like then? What new problems will arise next?

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Naturally, our society is also growing on a mental level through the self-help, community, love and connection that this Information Era provides. And of course, people learn from their mistakes, but at what or rather at whose cost?

Luckily, more attention has been directed towards the catfishing phenomenon and people are warning each other. Do you think the upcoming information systems, sharpening safety and security and society’s increasing distrust will allow people to keep stealing others’ information and/or create deceptive identities in the future? Have you ever been #catfished, had any similar experiences or are you an intelligent BIM catfish yourself?

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References:

http://nl.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=catfish

http://www.mtv.com/shows/catfish/

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Life improvements through Headspace

Headspace is a mindfulness app that aims to improve the health of people’s minds by applying meditation to their daily activities. Nowadays, the benefits of meditation as a treatment for pain, depression, anxiety and other mental diseases are becoming more familiar. If practiced on a regular basis, meditating can also help people handle life issues such as:

  • Stress;
  • Worry;
  • Lack of focus;
  • Relationship problems;
  • Addictions.

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This is where Headspace kicks in with its collections of meditations that suit different moods and lifestyles. Users can choose their session length, replay their favorites and learn how to apply mindfulness to daily activities. They can also map their journeys, track their progresses and get rewards on the way. Headspace users can now basically create ‘’personal gym memberships for their minds’’. The app also sends push notifications, so that they are reminded to be mindful throughout their day.

Headspace was launched in 2010 and has been growing very quick ever since; it is now used by more than three million users over 150 different countries and books are translated into 12 different languages. Headspace differentiates itself from competing applications such as Calm and Buddhify by offering users a Take 10 programme that has ten ten-minute sessions of guided meditation.

Some people question if mindfulness applications can really help people with letting go of distractions, especially since these apps need to be downloaded and used on iOS, Android or the web. Isn’t it somewhat adverse to use an app for mindfulness in a world where mindfulness is counteracted by such digital distraction?

Still, Headspace’s success speaks for itself through its growing popularity. Perhaps the app shows us that the negative sides of digital distraction can be fixed through the same digital distraction devices. Or maybe this depends on the intentions of the app users? What do you think; can  the Headspace app really improve lives and make this world a happier place? And will the impact of digital distraction remain?

Sources:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/21/meditation-startup-headspace-raised-30-million-to-help-you-be-more-mindful/

https://www.headspace.com/

http://www.high50.com/health/three-mindfulness-and-meditation-apps-buddhify-headspace-and-calm