About TND

My name is Maxwell Barvian, and I’ve been a professional computer scientist and software designer for 12 years. I’ve designed and built websites and apps for Fortune 500 companies, prestigious universities, health-tech startups, and more. Some of my highlighted work is available on my personal portfolio and Dribbble profile.

In early 2019, I changed my computer monitor to a glorified Kindle and it completely renewed my faith in digital technology. I went through screen withdrawal, no longer felt addicted to the computer, and felt free of many other cognitive effects that I document in the intro article. Having spent years trying to fix my relationship with technology through software (and joining a global movement that shares this cause), this type of screen was the first to feel like it addressed my issues at the source.

I’ve since spent hundreds of hours gathering research, reading books, and talking to psychologists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists to better understand why. I’ve learned that the cognitive effects of screen technology are fairly profound and extend far beyond their addictive potential. Anecdotally, I’m still surprised almost daily by how much conventional screens shaped my life in ways I may not have wanted had I known better. The New Digital is my outlet to share this research and discussion with you, and advocate for what I think is a clear, beautiful, more intentional future of screen-based technology. I hope you find it insightful and resourceful. Thank you sincerely for reading.

– Maxwell

Maxwell Barvian headshot

Acknowledgments

I'd love to thank the people who supported me directly or indirectly throughout this process. First, I'd like to thank presence researchers, without whom I'd have no foundation to stand on. I'd like to thank Zach for his relentless critique and insistence on continued research. I'd like to thank Dr. Stefanik, Dr. Azarbad, and Dr. St. Clair for their guidance, professional insights, and feedback on the research papers I showed them. I'd like to thank Drew, Liz, Steven, my parents, and Michael for their constant feedback, support, and insights. I'd like to thank Jerry Mander and Marie Winn for publishing such comprehensive views of television and screens from a hardware perspective. I'd also like to thank Dr. Victoria Dunckley, for risking "skepticism and criticism" in proposing an underlying screen addiction that gave me faith to pursue this line of research initially.