The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#134 Weekend reads – the societal impact of our collective addictions

It’s rare for me to watch a video which lands in a deep and powerful way. When a video does, it’s because it’s tying together many threads and tackling the really big and complex issues we face as a human collective. In this case, it’s addictions, both substance and behavioural, and how it’s diminishing us all.

The latest from Then & Now is ‘How New Addictions are Destroying Us.’ This is a must watch and if you’re a parent, more so. Please do share with your children if they are old enough to take this message on board.

I wanted to share some of the key take-aways I’ve made from watching this. You can also watch the latest The Know Show with Joe Augustin and Avni Martin to hear our thoughts too.

My take-aways

  1. Understanding how our brains work, and how dopamine works, as well as how the digital world impacts us. Know what’s happening, be aware. The information is widely available, from how politicians manipulate it, the media and advertisers too, all the way to Putin waging digital war for more than a decade on social media, and of course, our role in it and acceptance of it. It’s known, it’s destroying us, so let’s understand it and work together to fix it
  2. Ask yourself what landscape you want? Natural or digital? The way this is filmed really helps you to see this message
  3. Deep self-reflection is required. It’s time to ask ourselves – is this life making me happy? Is it making the world better? What needs to change? How can I change?
  4. The case for seeking pleasure over pain is wired into us from an evolutionary perspective, but today, we are seeking more and more pleasure. It’s instinctive to avoid pain, but we are moving into excessiveness and abundance, and too much of anything is bad. We need pain, but we also need to stop being scared of our own thoughts, which is hard when the world is full of noise. We all need to do the work within, and focus on balance
  5. Do simple things, like turn off notifications on your phone (it’s a game changer). Delete or ignore emails, unsubscribe from ones you never read. Stop buying into the dopamine rush
  6. We MUST all stand up and speak up – it is time for business to change. We’re getting towards the point of frenzy in our world. Noise everywhere. Alerts everywhere. 24×7. Massive consumption that ignores our planetary boundaries. The businesses responsible MUST address this – they need to be ethical, they need to design businesses for good. Algorithms can bring out the best or the worst in us. We need to push them to design their solutions to bring out the best
  7. We need to do this for our kids as sociologists are expecting a generational disaster – why do we keep accepting this? Are we so willing to sacrifice our children’s future?
  8. Our cultural, political and social guidelines have disappeared and now there are no guide posts. Worse, the market has become our guidelines. We can see that’s not working, right?
  9. We regulate addictive substances; however behavioural addiction is rarely regulated. Our kids are the victims of this, adults suffering from trauma too. This week Tik Tok said it would limit time on the platform for under 18s to one hour a day and then turn it off. We need corporate responsibility everywhere – we need to build a world that is focused on life flourishing = all life
  10. The essential message I took away and the whole sorry mess this world is in, is it’s time to take back control. We accept everything new, we get excited about its potential and continue to be completely oblivious to its destruction – AI/ChatGPT anyone? Even when we have the wreckage of that destruction all around us, as we do with social media, we still don’t change how we live, think and consume. We don’t rise up and say no more to the corporations responsible. I see this as one of the great challenges for our world to overcome.

So that’s my take-aways – when you watch it, I’d love to know your take-aways? This is one of the BIG issues we must address, because it’s doing us all harm and the market is not addressing it, because right now, the market is incapable of addressing it.

OK let’s get stuck into the reads.

Friend’s content and mine

How Much Will Climate Change Hurt the Dollar in Your Pocket? Great read from Dr. David Ko and Richard Busellato. Understanding the economic and financial implications is critical.

When you leave waste at the beach, where does it go? Our family does a lot of beach clean ups. We think it’s important to be part of the solution, because the truth is, everyone getting involved in solving this is the only way we can. Waste in the environment is expected to double by 2030 and triple by 2050. Are we going to allow that to happen on our watch?

On a recent clean up, the waste collection was overflowing. There is just too much waste going into the system for it to be managed. The best thing we can do ourselves is make sure we reduce our contribution EVERYWHERE. Please clean up after yourself at the beach, take it home/back to the hotel and reduce, reduce, reduce.

Donation time

If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, Medicine Sans Frontier, PowerOf , , Soi Dog Foundation.  It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.

Content to read

And here’s the content I’ve been reading or watching this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.

Climate crisis

Ecosystem collapse ‘inevitable’ unless wildlife losses reversed

Australia faces unprecedented grassfires next summer ‘supercharged’ by global heating

India warns of heatwaves, expects surge in heat-related illnesses

Antarctic glacier robot observations surprise scientists

Driest February in England since 1993 signals drought ahead, say experts

‘Very precarious’: Europe faces growing water crisis as winter drought worsens

Svalbard’s mysterious ‘doomsday’ seed vault offers first glimpse inside with virtual tour

Cut off for days, running low on food in San Bernardino Mountains

Man wades through waist-high snow in California

Norway’s leader meets Indigenous Sami as protests end

This ‘climate-friendly’ fuel comes with an astronomical cancer risk

What’s the ideal amount of clothing in a sustainable wardrobe? tks Kevin Cottam

Eight Billion People in the World Is a Crisis, Not an Achievement

Dangerous climate feedback loops have been underestimated

Attributing extreme weather to climate change

Parts of US see earliest spring conditions on record: ‘Climate change playing out in real time’

How Climate Change and the Polar Vortex Influenced This Week’s Harsh Winter Storms

Millionaire spending incompatible with 1.5 °C ambitions

Acceleration of global sea level rise imminent past 1.8°C planetary warming, says study

Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them at an Indonesian flea market

Unpriced climate risk and the potential consequences of overvaluation in US housing markets

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles says weather in flooded communities has eased as ‘hundreds’ of evacuees remain stranded

Vanuatu: Pacific nation reels from twin cyclones and earthquake

Greenwashing is more than dirty laundry tks Steve Johnson

What is a 15-minute city? The eco concept that has been jumped on by conspiracy theorists

Toxic “forever chemicals” in Norwegian Arctic ice pose new risk to wildlife

Rainbow plates: the chefs reawakening Africa’s taste for vegan food

A business-class airline passenger who ordered vegan food says it was insulting to be served one banana along with a pair of chopsticks

Thailand to stop accepting other countries’ plastic waste from 2025 tks Derek Masser

Ohio rail crash: toxic waste removal suspended amid contamination fears

Fossil Fashion

N Korea holds meeting on farming amid fears of food shortages

The UN Campaign for Individual Action

How Businesses Can Make Plastic Sustainability Core to Growth tks Susanna Hasenoerhl

BNP Paribas to be first bank sued for fossil fuel financing

The 50 areas in the UK most likely to perish because of climate change

Auditor-general warns RFS has no ‘overarching strategy’ to prepare for climate-change-fuelled bushfires

Companies need to stop greenwashing and get serious with net-zero pledges

Ski Resorts Are Surviving Climate Change with more Money and Less Snow

Onion shortage could trigger a global food crisis, fuel healthy diet worries

Scientists grapple with a possible new consequence of climate change: ‘Zombie’ viruses

Fall in shark numbers ‘worrying’ 

Combating climate change on the coral reef

‘Sportswashing’: Climate polluters pour money into winter sports as snowless ski resorts struggle

Tesco accused of greenwashing over ‘biodegradable’ teabags

Davos 2023: Don’t Let Greenwashing Fears Stall Credible Action World Economic Forum Podcast

Enough is Enough

Global politics

Human error to blame for train crash – Greek PM

Greece train crash: Survivors describe ‘nightmarish seconds’

Greece train crash: 57 people confirmed dead as public anger grows

Iranian officials to investigate ‘revenge’ poisoning of schoolgirls

Iran: Dozens of schoolgirls taken to hospital after new gas poisonings

China refuses to condemn Russia’s Ukraine invasion during G20 deadlock

China and Belarus express ‘extreme interest’ in Ukraine peace

Sergei Lavrov: Russian foreign minister laughed at for Ukraine war claims

The Economist Podcasts: Next Year in Moscow 2: A beautiful life

Labour left breaks with Jeremy Corbyn over sending weapons to Ukraine

Why Democrats Are Scared to Challenge Biden in 2024

Rupert Murdoch acknowledged that Fox News hosts endorsed false stolen election claims tks Frank Roberts

Outdated and out of time: Biden’s crusade for global democracy is doomed to fail

New bill would eliminate Florida Democratic Party

Mardi Gras: Australia’s PM Anthony Albanese first to join march

First Ardern, now Sturgeon: leaders echo ‘dehumanising’ pressures

Rishi Sunak hails new NI Brexit deal but DUP concerns remain

Let’s remake a deal: Brexit and Northern Ireland (again) The Economist Podcasts

Nigeria election 2023: Tinubu rises from ashes of opposition splits

Business and technology

What Happened to the Recession?

January 2023 Showing Index Results: Largest Jump in Showings for Any January On Record

TikTok Will Automatically Limit Teen App Usage to 60 Minutes per Day

OpenAI Is Now Everything It Promised Not to Be: Corporate, Closed-Source, and For-Profit tks Emile Bloemen

Don’t Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It

The Most Important Job Skill of This Century

ChatGPT Heralds an Intellectual Revolution

Facebook’s Resident AI Guru Just Brutally Slammed ChatGPT

Spotify Launching OpenAI-Powered “DJ” That Talks About Songs Between Tracks

‘Verbal trickery’: Warner Bros Discovery sues Paramount for $200 million over South Park deal

Gautam Adani and the New Indian Capitalism tks Miguel Bernas

‘The Cinderella ride is over for Tesla’

The Sunday Read: ‘Elon Musk’s Appetite for Destruction’ The Daily Podcast

Harvey Norman says sales slow but no sign of recession

Social issues

12 Women Working Toward a More Equal World

How big Christian nationalism has come courting in North Idaho

We need to bring honour back

COVID-19 at Three: Who Got the Pandemic Right? The Political Scene | The New Yorker Podcast

I Wrote About Not Shaving For A Month — And The Backlash Made One Thing Perfectly Clear

Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.

Italy migrant boat shipwreck: Nearly 60 killed off Calabria coast

Lateral flow tests being prepared for UK outbreaks of avian flu

H5N1: Cambodian girl dies in rare bird flu case

No Women Were Nominated For The Best Director Oscar This Year

Dilbert comic strip dropped by US media over creator’s racist tirade

Mothers fight to save their daughters from eating disorders amid a health system in ‘crisis’ tks Yasmine Keating

I found out my mum had schizophrenia when I was 14. Here’s what I wish I’d known

Christina Applegate carries cane with ‘FU MS’ sticker as she is accompanied by daughter at SAG Awards

P!nk ‘Saddened and Disappointed’ Over Feud Headlines: ‘Art Can Never Be the Focus When You’re a Woman’

The First Chapter: a year in review and what’s coming next The Story of Woman Podcast

What we’ve learned from Alex Murdaugh murder trial

Moment 99 – Simon Sinek: The Power Of Your ‘Why’ & How To Find It! The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett Podcast

Genevieve Lhermitte: Belgian mother who killed her five children euthanised

Earth’s inner core appears to have stopped spinning.

Passion, humour, history

Everything Everywhere All at Once: Award Acceptance Speech tks Wayne Chan

Inside the life of Bill Gates’ daughter Jennifer, an elite equestrian who stands to inherit ‘a minuscule portion’ of her father’s $106 billion fortune

Adam Lambert: ‘I didn’t think I’d have a shot’

Northern lights: Aurora seen across UK in spectacular display

Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!



Want to get in touch? All of my contact information is here on Linktree.

Environment education

Four environment resources to help you navigate this challenging territory.

  1. Knowledge, constantly updating
  2. Individual action and awareness, so we do our part
  3. Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
  4. Finally, more than 100 mini-videos on many topics regarding the multiple crisis’ we face. Feel free to download and use them on social media as your own. No credit necessary.

Uncommon Courage: an invitation

Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.

You can buy it on AmazonApple BooksBarnes & Noble, Book DepositoryBooktopia, SmashwordsKobo, Gardners, Odilo, Indie Bound, BookShop by BookTrib and Scribd.

Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.

You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.

Come and join the conversation in my Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.

Listen in to the Uncommon Courage, the podcast on Apple, Spotify and everywhere podcasts are published.

The Know Show

Check out The Know Show. It’s a fortnightly wrap up of the news!

Climate Courage

A fortnightly conversation on issues that matter to you and I, focusing on the actions we can all take.

18 Steps to an All-Star LinkedIn Profile 

Listed by Book Authority in the 100 Best LinkedIn Books of All Time and 22 Best New LinkedIn eBooks To Read In 2021 and 2022 categories. Grab it today if you want to take your professional presence to the next level! When it comes to LinkedIn, it really is time to ask — can you really afford not to have this book in the hands of every employee?

Are you a Social CEO? The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader. 

Want to claim your stage? Unleash Your Voice – Powerful Public Speaking for Every Woman 


Have I done a great job for you? Can you write a reference on my LinkedIn profile or on my Google Business page? If not for me, why not write one for someone else who inspires you or has helped you? Join the #GivingEconomy.


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