Episode Notes

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Welcome to the first episode of the Digital Citizen podcast! Your host, Fastmail’s CTO, Ricardo ‘Rik’ Signes, talks to BJ Fogg, a behavioral scientist, about how to make positive changes in your digital life.

In an increasingly technological world, it’s important to leverage the power of tiny habits to create meaningful, lasting change in your behavior. BJ Fogg talks with us about how you can use that framework to have a healthier relationship with technology and the people in your life.

Rik and Fastmail's COO, Helen, talk about the digital habits they want to change in their daily lives. Before the show, we learn that Rik and Helen's dream show topics include the Fast and The Furious franchise, playing cricket and science fiction books!

🎙 Guest Interview - BJ Fogg

🗣️ Discussion Points

  • BJ Fogg is a behavioral scientist who wrote the book, Tiny Habits. His work has always focused on helping people be happier and healthier through behavior change.
  • The Fogg Behavior model is the core of behavior design. A behavior happens when three things come together at the same moment. The motivation to do the behavior, the ability to do the behavior, and the prompt. If any one of those are missing, the habit won’t happen.
  • You can think of habits like plants. You take a good seed (habit) and put it into a good spot (in your routine) and then nurture it. If you don’t tend to your garden, you will end up cultivating a garden of weeds.
  • Technology should be used to bring humans together. If you are having a conversation with someone, put your phone away and give them your full attention.
  • Go into your phone and take control of your notifications. Don’t let apps dictate your behavior.
  • BJ and his lab have been studying the effects of screen time on people and how they can better understand where and how they spend their time.
  • Managing and strengthening our closest relationships is the best use of our mobile phones.


  • BJ Fogg's suggestions on how to become a better digital citizen:
    • Alert people of the dangers of certain social media platforms
    • Help people understand that certain web browsers track immense amounts of data about you
    • Sit down with someone to help them with their notifications (if you see something designed to exploit people you should let them know)
    • Promote and share the things that make us happier and healthier
  • We spend a lot of time interacting with computers. We need to be intentional about how we interact with them.
  • Help others by sharing with people what you know. For example, talk about the value of password managers and two-factor authentication for better privacy and security. Being a good digital citizen is about helping others live better online every day.

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