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Big Revolution - The Facebook-free edition

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Hello and welcome to a FACEBOOK-FREE edition of Big Revolution. They've dominated the news so much in
 
April 10 · Issue #44 · View online
Big Revolution
Hello and welcome to a FACEBOOK-FREE edition of Big Revolution. They’ve dominated the news so much in recent weeks that I felt it was time to not mention them at all for a day (except in this introduction and the subject line, obviously).

Big things you need to know today
- Global app downloads and revenue from apps broke records in the first quarter of 2018, according to App Annie. Apps may not have the novelty factor of a few years ago, but they’re still a growing business.
- It’s a Twitter-bot world. A study by Pew shows that around two thirds of all links tweeted to popular news sites are by bots. Looking back to my time at TNW, I’ll agree with that. Most of the time it wasn’t anything dody, just people tweeting off RSS feeds.
- Get ready to ride your own Uber: The company has acquired JUMP, one of the many ‘bike sharing’ (i.e., bike rental!) startups to emerge in the past couple of years. Jump is the only bike sharing startup to force a Van Halen song into my head every time I read their name. 
- You’ll now be able to track your friends’ performance in quiz app HQ Trivia thanks to a new feature rolling out first in the UK, TechCrunch reports. A US launch will follow soon.
- Apple has followed a recent Google announcement to say that it now buys enough green energy to offset its global power consumption. Not quite the ‘we’re now globally powered by 100 percent renewable energy’ message of the press release, but still encouraging news.
The big thought
Gorging on the firehose
Give me that sweet firehose and let me drink! Credit: Hermes Rivera, Unsplash
“We think of teens as being connected to social media like an umbilical cord, incapable of breathing without it. But perhaps only these true parseltongues, who were entering kindergarten while Myspace was peaking, have the self-awareness and ability to know when to unplug.”
That’s a thought-provoking paragraph from a BuzzFeed article about teens who take breaks from social media.
It got me thinking about my own social media use, and in particular, Twitter.
I’ve never seen the appeal in gambling. Putting a bet on a horse, or sliding a coin in a slot and pressing a button – they always seemed like nothing more than good ways to throw money away. But in recent years, I’ve started to see – occasionally – similar impulses in my social media use. 
‘Pulling to refresh’ constantly to see something new that is almost always not that interesting; tweeting something and then checking back every couple of minutes to see if it’s got any likes or replies… It’s hardly an original sentiment to say that fixation on the metrics and 'always something new’ nature of social media is unhealthy. But see it in yourself, and it can be revealing.
Every few months, I take a social media break for a week or so. My last one was in December. While it’s certainly calming to be away from that constant flow of information, it’s hard not to feel like I’m missing an important part of my body. 
From about 2004 to 2012, social media was exciting, and evolving constantly. Like many other people I gorged on it. It was new, it felt world-changing and I didn’t want to miss a minute of it. Give me that sweet firehose and let me drink from it! I was like Veruca Salt in the egg room in the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Give me everything!
Now, 14 years after I joined Myspace, social media is a part of my being. Another limb. As part of me as my academic record, my work history, or my music collection. It’s unhealthy in some ways but incredibly useful in others, but it’s certainly transformed my brain in a way I don’t quite understand. I was like the mad scientist from a comic book who discovers a potent chemical and goes mad with power, consuming it all.
If young people are growing up with a better sense of balance and an awareness of when it’s time to stop, that can only be a good thing. Don’t drink from the firehose, kids.
One big read
Unknown Tech Brands Aren’t Like Groceries. Don’t Just Grab Them Unknown Tech Brands Aren’t Like Groceries. Don’t Just Grab Them
“It’s time to stop using technology and the internet as though you were shopping at a supermarket. In a grocery store, you can reasonably assume that the food labels are accurate and the products safe to eat, because the food industry is heavily regulated. The handling of personal digital information, in contrast, is loosely regulated.”
One big tweet
I like this idea – kind of like a private ‘happy place.’
Michael Seibel
Crazy VR app that I would love: imagine putting on a headset and you have a 360 work space where you can brainstorm, organize your thoughts, and think up new strategies for your business or life in complete isolation/immersion. No distractions and always there when you need it.
4:01 AM - 10 Apr 2018
That’s all for today...
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