November Reading Edit

Our monthly reading edits are compiled by Francine Thompson, W&D’s Content Manager, Bridgette Dutkowski, W&D’s Project Manager, and me! Every month we get together to talk about the content going on W&D for the upcoming weeks, which is most often inspired by articles, timely topics, and cultural touch points outside the lifestyle category. We hope that we enjoy these links and get as much out of them as we do!

It’s been a trying month. Every time I opened Twitter, my heart would pound and my head would began to spin. I’m tired of hyperbolic headlines, click-bait, and scare tactics. So, in the spirit of looking for optimism wherever we can, we’ve decided to focus on staying curious, informed, and adventurous. My favorite article in this grouping is from Wired, on how we can’t totally blame Facebook’s algorithm for our cultural echo chambers. There’s a big world right outside our front doors. It’s up to you and I to ask questions, seek input, and break down barriers. Here’s to the last month of 2016 and a healthy dose of cautious optimism.


+ On mindfulness, moderation, and reality checks: “But still, the advice to be more mindful often contains a hefty scoop of moralizing smugness, a kind of “moment-shaming” for the distractible, like a stern teacher scolding us for failing to concentrate in class. The implication is that by neglecting to live in the moment we are ungrateful and unspontaneous, we are wasting our lives, and therefore if we are unhappy, we really have only ourselves to blame.” Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment, by Ruth Whippman via The New York Times

+ On how big companies can embrace service and impact the next phase of our lives: “America is complex. It’s going through major demographic, social, political, and economic changes—all of which create deep challenges that are felt across our society. That makes it ever more urgent to rethink what experiences we provide for each generation to prepare them for the hard work of confronting those challenges responsibly and together.” Why Companies Need to Make 2017 a Year of Service – by Zach Maurin via Fast Company

+ On echo chambers and hacking Facebook’s algorithm: “The primary issue is that we deliberately choose actions that push us down an echo chamber. First, we only connect with like-minded people and “unfriend” anyone whose viewpoints we don’t agree with, creating insular worlds. Second, even when the newsfeed algorithm shows cross-cutting content, we do not click on it.” Blame the Echo Chamber on Facebook. But Blame Yourself, Too, by Kartik Hosanagar via Wired

+ On Facebook’s role in the election (and why many of us feel like we got slapped in the face): “Some employees are worried about the spread of racist and so-called alt-right memes across the network, according to interviews with 10 current and former Facebook employees. Others are asking whether they contributed to a “filter bubble” among users who largely interact with people who share the same beliefs.” Facebook, in Cross Hairs After Election, Is Said to Question Its Influence – by Mike Isaac via The New York Times

+ On the moments and words that spurred several women to run for public office: “What impacted me most was watching my mom express her opinions and seeing my dad love her for that. he’d say ‘Isn’t she great?’ A lot of fathers don’t realize that girls really want approval from their fathers. But my dad was all on board, saying ‘You need to do speech and debate,’ and ‘It’s okay if the boys don’t like you now; they’ll figure it out.'” 11 Women on the “Aha!” Moments That Made Them Run for Office – by Amanda Fitzsimons via Elle

+ On the knitty gritty effects of social media on the election: “Making the social Web nicer always takes a back seat to just trying to keep up. There were more tweets to see, more stuff to read, more Internet Post-it notes to throw along our social media floor. If social media ruined 2016, it’s because of that: We haven’t stopped long enough to try to sort it all out.” Did Social Media Ruin Election 2016? – by Sam Sanders via NPR

And if you’re feeling like you want to use the outcome of the election to do some good, check out our Do-Good Gift Guide.

—Image via Office Magazine