Reflections on Digital Life

The Relief of Completion

Recently I gave an interview with VICE Netherlands about completionism tendencies when playing video games. If you’ve ever played video games, you’ll likely recognise this feeling: wanting to collect all the collectibles, complete all the open quests, and basically just “100%” the game. While preparing for the interview, I delved into the literature for some…

PhD Notebook Flipthrough

Hi there! It’s been a while since I’ve written any ‘reflections on digital life’ (blame it on the fast-approaching end of my PhD contract), but here’s a little thing I wanted to share! Since my PhD is ending in two weeks’ time, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to reflect on my past…

Dark patterns 101

Recently, I met up with my fellow Interintellect Clo S to talk about so-called ‘mindful UX’ design. We all might recognise instances where websites or tools are designed in a really annoying way, making it hard to find what we’re looking for. I was surprised (although I really shouldn’t have been) to hear that there…

The birth of Excavo

The past year has been interesting, to say the least. I am happy to say, though, that my past 12 months have not only been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, I’ve learned a lot of new things and experienced a lot of new things in my PhD in these last 12 months. As…

Be our guest

Last month, we launched an awesome new initiative at the GEMH Lab, which I’m proud to be involved in. As a lab focused on games and digital tech for wellbeing, we get to talk to a bunch of interesting, open-minded people on a regular basis. We decided it’d be great to share the fascinating talks…

Quality Zooming

In the time since the COVID-19 virus hit us, I have been working on a new project with my GEMH lab colleagues. A project that we had to start from the very ground up. This project, which I’m excited to tell you more about in a later blog post, offered me the opportunity to engage…

Emoji: Nice or noisy?

Every once in a while I get a text, and it has no emoji in it. And even though the text is fine, and the contents are pretty neutral, the fact that there are no emoji puts my mind in an instantaneous state of doubt — is this person mad at me? Perhaps you recognise…

Emotions II

In my previous blog, I gave a short intro to some of the thoughts psychologists and neuroscientists had in the 19th century around the emergence of emotions. However, with a new century came new ideas, and the 1920s saw Walter Cannon and Philip Bard directly challenge the James-Lange theory. Instead of emotions following from physical…

Emotions I

The relationship between our bodies and our minds has fascinated me since I started my education in Psychology. Unsurprisingly, the mind-body relationship is incredibly complex, and one of the most profound examples of this mysterious interaction is the phenomenon of emotions; specifically where they come from. In this ultra-short two-part blog series I want to…

The ghosts of Facebooks past

My go-to social medium for a long time was Facebook. I became a ‘member’ in 2009, a year before I graduated from secondary school, and I’ve been visiting the platform ever since (nowadays almost exclusively to check on my favourite internet-dog, Tucker). Although I still occasionally share something myself on the platform, I’m increasingly confronted…

We need to do social media justice

Yay! I’m happy to announce that my latest paper, written together with my awesome supervisors, has been officially published in the new APA journal Technology, Mind and Behavior! The paper, titled Toward Improved Methods in Social Media Research, has been a culmination of the literature review I started in the beginning of my PhD project,…

Person-centric AI

During my time at the GEMH Lab I’ve become more and more interested in the relationship that people have with technology. Not only in terms of ‘how do we use it’ and ‘what can we do with it’, but also how technology has been inspired by us. In particular artificial intelligence is meant to mimic…

Outliers

About a year ago, I started listening to a podcast that was recommended to me by my office mate, Jan. We both share an interest in machine learning, and he recommended that I listen to (among others) a show called Linear Digressions. I pretty much instantly fell in love with this podcast, as it discusses…

Share the load

The emergence of social networks (all the way back in 1999 with platforms like LiveJournal and SixDegrees) has provided people all around the world with an opportunity to share information about themselves and get to know people from across the country, and eventually, the globe. Networks such as Facebook (2004), and Instagram (2010) have evolved…

Why being social is so important to us

We are immensely social beings: we enjoy having friends and sharing knowledge or experiences with them, and most people try to connect with other people first chance they get. It’s not really surprising that social media have increased in popularity as much as they have, only further illustrating our desire to see and be seen,…


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