Tiny-care-terminal is a dashboard that wants to make sure you’re looking after yourself. Have you had any water today? How’s your posture? These gentle reminders are delivered by a supportive Party Parrot, who hangs out just to the right of your work.
Google developer Monica Dinculescu created the free dashboard, which pulls messages from Twitter bots focused on self-care. The dashboard updates every 20 minutes. For people who stare at a computer all day, it’s a gentle nudge to de-stress and practice healthy behaviors. “I think people are finally coming around to the idea that ‘crushing code and Red Bulls’ non-stop kind of sucks, and that taking breaks is actually really nice — and downright good for your health,” Dinculescu tells The Verge.
Dinculescu got the idea from @tinycarebot, @5minselfcare, and @aloebud, accounts that regularly tweet affirmations to their followers. “It’s totally fine if you need to take a break!” @tinycarebot says one day. “You will be okay,” reassures @5minselfcare. “When you’re having a terrible day at work, you just want someone to validate your feelings, human or bot,” Dinculescu says.
The bots offer good advice, but Dinculescu points to a major pitfall: They assume you’ll be on Twitter in the first place to spot them. “I miss these reminders, forget to drink water, get super-grumpy because I’m sitting like a pretzel and my back hurts, and end up feeling bad about myself,” she says. “Instead of Twitter, though, I stare at a terminal for seven hours, and I know my coworkers do too, so I thought maybe I should bring the bots to the terminal instead. Maybe we’ll all just be happier, hydrated people with good posture.”
Dinculescu chose to draw tweets from @tinycarebot, @selfcare_bot, and @magicrealismbot, but users can add more if they like. “If you’re not into my kind of whimsy, you can substitute some of them for other ones that work for you,” she says. Tiny-care-terminal is available to download on GitHub, and Dinculescu will keep tweaking the dashboard. Her next step is to add a bunny mascot, for those who don’t want to party with a parrot.
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