Tech giants might have to demand membership fees soon, according to the European Commission.

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Picture by mikoto.raw at pexels.com

Would you pay to use a social media platform like Instagram? If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have responded by shaking my head slowly while giving you a questioning look. After all, social media has been free of charge since the beginning.

But is it really?

In this story, I want to dive deeper into how social networks generate their revenue and why this is crucial, not only for our everyday lives but also for humanity’s course as a whole.

The status quo

Today’s major networks are mostly monetizing in the same way across the board: advertisements.

Ads alone are annoying and damaging enough. On the surface, people are impulsively buying useless gadgets because the advertisement was perfectly tailored to their instincts. But the problem runs deeper. …


Asking the question, I am terrified to answer.

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Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

“Enjoy your youth while you can. It will only go downhill afterwards.”
- too many people, on too many occasions.

Being young is supposed to be great. No responsibilities, tons of free time, plenty of “firsts”, and no existential dreads lurking around the corner. As someone who isn’t experiencing the youth portrayed in popular TV-Shows or on several Instagram-feeds, I am prone to deduce that I am wasting my youth.

But I believe this to be a too superficial point of view. One thing I learned in law school was to define everything. Maybe that will help with my problem.

Youth

The concept that being young is the best time of your life ranges back a few decades. …


Is your perspective still serving you?

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Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni at undraw.co

2020 taught us to let go of our normal state of living. A lot has changed, for the better and the worse. When confronted with change, we have the opportunity but also the responsibility to make decisions. While some of these decisions can focus on acquiring new skills and habits, you can also eliminate unnecessary things. I looked at my life and tried to find out what weighs me down more than it helps. And here is what I cut out in the process.

1. Fear of negative information

A common notion in self-improvement has always been to ditch the news since they are too negative. As people are more attracted to negative information than they are to positive, the news will feed us the former. At least that’s what people on the internet told me. But is it true? …


Editors are not the only people that can curate your feed.

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Photo by Elijah O’Donnell from Pexels

I usually proclaim to ditch social media altogether in order to escape the time consuming and destructive algorithms. And although social media can become a severe problem for some of its users, deleting all accounts can seem like overkill. Luckily, there is another option available for users: curation.

Usually, the algorithms of social networks are pursuing the goal of increasing the time spent on their platforms. They achieve this by promoting extreme conspiracy content, which is receiving up to four times more views, compared to posts from credible sources. …


Look for these five signs.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Overtraining is a crucial concept in fitness, especially in the realm of weight lifting. However, the term is misleading. Instead of framing it as working out too much, it should rather be defined as not recovering properly. Whether quantitative or qualitative, poor recovery usually causes the symptoms that are described as overtraining.

However, when working out regularly, you want to know how to recognize the state of improper recovery and what you can do about it. Hence, in this article, I will cover the five most commonly seen signs of overtraining.

Reduced motivation

It’s completely normal to feel demotivated sometimes. There are many days on which I don’t feel like working out. During some periods of my life, I never felt like lifting weights. However, if you are usually motivated to hit the gym, work out, and eat healthily, but then suddenly can’t bring yourself off the couch and into your workout clothes anymore, you might be facing some signs of overtraining especially when this period lasts for several days or even weeks. …


Now is the perfect time to do so.

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Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni at undraw.co

Social media can be a handy tool to connect with people and build businesses. Furthermore, it provides us with social feedback, making us feel ecstatic and loved. But with too much magnificence usually comes a price. It’s a cost we don’t realize to be present until we see what we are missing out on. And once we recognize the lack, the price has already been paid.

On the surface, we are paying for using social media with our time and mental wellbeing. Looking at the issue in more detail, science is finding increasingly more evidence for social media's dark side. But one doesn’t even have to rely on science to realize this. …


Although we might want to forget this year, we can still keep its lessons.

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Photo by Alexander Kagan on Unsplash

After 12 months and 17 years, the year 2020 is coming to an end. It was a stuffed year, offering a lot of content for future history books. In case you missed something or already repressed the memories, here are some memorable moments of this year:

Britain made the Brexit happen, ultimately leaving the EU. Australia, as well as California, were facing disastrous fires. People were hoarding toilet paper, making stores sell only one pack per customer. Conspiracy theories were on an ultimate high, and, well, the world was facing a global pandemic. …


Let’s transform ourselves into athletes.

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Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni at undraw.co

As this current pandemic started and gyms in Germany had to close, I rarely worked out anymore. Although I have been working as a fitness trainer at my local gym for a few years next to university and know how important it is to stay active, I didn’t. I was heartbroken after my weights have been locked away due to national shutdowns.

To regain some hope, I aimed to develop my ultimate fitness routine. I experimented with various types of exercises and now want to share my current plan. …


And how the European Union can protect users.

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Picture by Hadi Slash at pexels.com

We are on the brink of change. Change in a direction that no one saw coming, yet seems inevitable. After living in the era of information, we are already in the midst of another era: The era of disinformation.

Conspiracy theories are on the rise. With the current pandemic and the recent election in the U.S., people — and bots — are spreading disinformation to divide and polarize society. Once someone turned into a conspiracy theorist, it’s hard to conduct a civil discussion with them. It’s not because the person is evil per sé, but because there is a lack of common ground. As disinformation is being spread more and algorithms provide us with individual experiences and recommendations, it will lead to a problem we haven’t yet encountered as humans. In the past, disagreements resulted from two or more parties looking at the same facts but from different viewpoints. …


There is no point in being productive if you aren’t happy about it.

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Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni at undraw.co

This pandemic taught us ultimately one seemingly crucial thing: We need more fancy home office gadgets to work properly. I am guilty of this, too. After adding a new chair and a treadmill for my standing desk, I had to face an uncomfortable truth. One that I tried to hide under my gadgets. Although I now had everything optimized to be productive, I still had to put in the work. But it made me aware of a thinking trap that I tend to fall into often.

Am I optimizing for productivity or rather for feeling productive?

I realized how focused I was on creating a feeling of productivity. I invested hours into building a perfect notion board, using it sporadically to note down some content ideas. I buy new gadgets and plan out excellent routines to feel good about future study and work sessions, which I then miss because I rather procrastinated. …

About

Julian Drach

German law student with many ideas. Some are better than others, but you get to read them all.

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