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No More: a self-care app for you and your apps

This post is the second in a series. You can read about the other apps I made here.

For the last year or so, I’ve been working on an app that makes your social media weirder, nicer, and less addictive. It lets you turn off individual features, like Instagram Stories, or Twitter replies. It lets you hide annoyances, or completely change how an app works and feels. In short, it lets you exercise a degree of autonomy over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – apps that give you little to no choice about what you see. Apps that insist on showing you what will drive maximum engagement, no matter how damaging that is to you.

The app is called No More. And in the last couple weeks, as I’ve been putting the finishing touches on it, and after receiving the final illustrations for its settings, I’ve been considering whether or not it’s okay to release it. Since the death-by-strangulation of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer who had 18 complaints against him, who refused to hear the pleas of a man dying under his boot, I’ve been considering something about my use of social media that’s a little uncomfortable to acknowledge, and which I’ve been worried this app could exacerbate.

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I Made an App to Stop My Compulsive Spending

(With the Power of Feelings)

This year, I pledged to make some dang apps again, but unlike the apps that I did for my startup years ago, these would be things made in no one’s interest but my own. I wanted to know: could technology, deliberately made and applied, allow me to connect with some important part of myself?

This post is the first in a series. Eventually, you can read about the other apps here.

I have a problem with spending. Like most things in my life, it fluctuates wildly as a counterforce to give me emotional stability. Money can do many things: chiefly, it can add novelty and surprise and promise and hope. It promises transformation with no other effort required than the spending of it.

The problem comes when I fail to actually hear what I need, or actively crush and abandon those feelings, and then use money to make up the difference. What hope can you have for feeling whole and happy if you live in constant denial of your needs, always trying harder and with higher stakes to make up for not having listened to yourself in the first place? We’ll get to why I do that in another post, maybe, but it should suffice to say: there are a lot of reasons why it’s hard for me to hear myself.

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