2021 Resolutions: Let’s treat people like People on the Internet

We’re creating an Alternative Internet that puts people first

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Happy New Year! As we say good riddance to the dumpster fire that was 2020, we’re hoping that 2021 will be a year of recovery and growth.

Amidst a flurry of antitrust charges filed against big tech and growing debate on how to regulate online privacy, we at The @ Company are doing our part to keep the focus where it should be: treating people like people. We’ve come up with several 2021 resolutions that will help us make this a reality.

Ask for permission.

No more excuses — this one’s really quite simple. People are more than just browsing habits or bits of data; they are living, breathing beings with the inherent right to choose. Before we access someone’s data or track their activity on our website, we’ll ask for permission.

Be fully transparent.

People can’t give informed consent if they don’t fully understand what’s at stake. Too often, companies mask their true intentions behind unnecessarily long and ambiguously-worded privacy policies. We, on the other hand, believe it’s essential to tell you exactly how we’re interacting with your data. (Our shockingly succinct privacy policy for our first app, @persona, is a good example of this.)

Be mindful of how we’re using technology and social media.

Countless research studies suggest that spending excessive time on social media fundamentally alters our brain chemistry. When we receive likes or positive comments on our most recent Instagram post, our brain releases a feel-good chemical called dopamine. Over time, we start to subconsciously rely on our phones or social media as a way to spark that dopamine rush.

What if we stopped to think before automatically reaching for our phones? By monitoring and limiting the time we spend scrolling mindlessly through social media feeds, we want to turn these learned unconscious impulses into intentional decisions. We can consider how using technology impacts our moods and lifestyles, and make changes for the better.

Have fun!

What’s the point of creating a better Internet experience if we’re not enjoying it? As self-proclaimed Internet Optimists, we truly believe in technology’s potential to resolve real-world issues and foster genuine connection. We’re not denying that the Internet has problems, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a bit of fun while we work towards a solution. Privacy and great experience should not be self-canceling.

At The @ Company we are technologists, creators, and builders with one thing in common: We love the Internet. You could go so far as to call us Internet optimists.

Though we acknowledge that the Internet has deep flaws, we believe that we can extract all its goodness without sacrificing our privacy, time, and control over our digital identities. We’ve committed ourselves to the creation of a more human Internet where privacy is a fundamental right and everyone owns their own data.

Let’s say goodbye to the fear and paranoia caused by data breaches and unsolicited online surveillance. With the power of the @protocol, we’re resolving these long-standing issues with a spirit of exploration and fun.

Learn more about us here.

Now for some internet optimism

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